A span can be as short as nine inches or as long as a lifetime. This is an archaic unit of measurement which indicates the distance between the tip of the thumb and the tip of the little finger when the hand is fully extended.

The span of influence is an even greater measurement which can extend from one second to one thousand years and from one life to untold millions. We call this a legacy. It’s the indelible mark a parent leaves on a child. It’s the impression a teacher leaves on a student. It’s the after effects of Christ’s death and resurrection on the world.

The impact of our lives in fulfilling God’s ultimate purpose isn’t much more than a literal span (Meditate on that the next time your heart swells with pride). Our lives are nothing more than a vapor when compared with eternity. God wants us to use the span of time He’s given us to tell people how they can spend eternity in Heaven. If they accept Christ, then the span of our influence will last throughout eternity.

You may never know how much your life has influenced someone else because there is no way to measure influence—a span certainly won’t work. But as you invest in others, you’re making an impression. That kind word to your angry co-worker, that helping hand to the elderly woman with a cart full of groceries, or that listening ear to a friend in distress—all work together to extend the span of your influence for Christ. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so start investing today.

Immortality lies not in the things you leave behind, but in the people your life has touched. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.