BACK TO THE FUTURE
In probably the best-ever time-travel movie, Marty McFly rides the DeLorean back to 1955 and happens to make an offhand encouraging remark to his now teenaged and aimless dad. “You know, George, you can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it.” Years later he’s stunned to discover that his father rose to that challenge, not just taking Loraine (Mom) to the Enchantment-Under-the-Sea dance, but is now a successful science-fiction novelist living in a model house.
Let me tell you how this struck close to home in a wonderful way. My daughter was just bumping along in high school when one of her teachers, a Mrs. Adams, quietly confided to her, “You’ve got amazing aptitude in math, Karli, and I think you could go all the way.” Inspired, Karli began signing up for AP classes; at the age of 25 she received her doctorate in mathematics. Now a decade later, her teaching skills have blessed literally hundreds of university students. All because of that one life-changing remark.
In the Christian book, The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis solemnly observes that every single day we are nudging those around us either toward heaven or hell. Every kind, hopeful, inspiring word we say may reverberate throughout eternity, blessing and lifting others higher. “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself,” he writes, “your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.”