In the 1985 time travel film, “Back to the Future”, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels back to 1955 and tells a young man sweeping up in Lou’s Café, Goldie Wilson (Donald Fullilove), that one day he would become the mayor of Hill Valley. Although Goldie had a menial job, he was working towards a better future by going to night school, and inspired by Marty’s words he eventually became the town’s mayor in 1977.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question often posed to children and young people. Some look to their idols in the world of entertainment, hoping to sing or dance or even simply to be famous. And currently on British TV news programmes, it seems to be the fashion for journalists visiting developing countries to ask local children what they would like to become. Their answer is often a doctor or an engineer, important roles which would bring benefit to their nation.
But surely the best thing we can do is to discover what our individual talents are, then work hard to find a role or career in which we can be the best we can be. Our gifts and personalities are all different, but we all have an amazing contribution to make to this world; whether that’s caring for the elderly, flying a plane, serving in a shop, working for justice, running a home, maintaining the roads or teaching children. None of us are worthless; we all have an important role to play, even if we don’t know what it is yet.
Whatever we do, we should do it to the best of our ability. The current crisis in Ukraine puts the spotlight on Russia’s President Putin. To reach the top job and then attack your peace-loving neighbours, bringing war and destruction to the region and perhaps to the continent, is a tragic mistake. Let us never want greatness for greatness’s sake. Serving and loving others, in whatever capacity, must surely be our highest aspiration. Jesus, whose teachings have changed the world, once said that even He:
“did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”Mark 10:45 (NIVUK)
Even the role of a mayor is a position of service; how much more the role of a president.
We must pray for Ukraine and its people, and trust that our own leaders will do all in their power to bring a halt to this unprovoked and unjustified act of war.