I recently listened to a pastor share a story about the day he walked into a conference workshop and found his seven-year-old daughter praying over the instructor. It was the same day she would be found marching in a corner, praying loudly and boldly for the conference attendees. The day she would defy her father’s wishes to stay out from underfoot because she felt compelled to lay hands on individuals in the crowd.
It was the day her father realized that God had great things in store for his little girl.
He choked up as he told that part of the story. Tears blurred my vision and I was acutely aware that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. But then, there never is at the funeral of a ten-year-old girl.
And I imagine that, at that point, most everyone was thinking what a tragedy it was that she was taken from us so suddenly. Because she was a little fireball with so much potential. The kind of girl who might have changed the world one day.
That’s where we went wrong. Not with the tragedy. Not with the fact that our hearts were broken. But we were wrong to assume that her potential had been cut off at the knees. Wrong to assume that she might have changed the world one day.
Because Maggie Hollifield did change the world. Those great things her father predicted? She fulfilled them in a mere ten years of living. From the time her daddy recognized her potential until the day she breathed her last, Maggie did mighty things.
Maggie believed in small encounters. She never sold herself short. She never saved anything for “one day.” She lived in the moment, dancing her way into the hearts of those around her. And that’s how she managed to change the world in ten, short years.
And I’m a little ashamed to think that I could live a hundred years and not touch half as many people as Maggie Hollifield did during her tragically short lifespan.
Because I have a habit of getting so caught up in the someday that I forget to live in the now.
I forget the monumental impact the smallest encounters can have.
I forget that changing the world is done one day at a time.
Just one day at a time.
I’m thankful for the way this child turned my world upside-down in the brief eight months I knew her. I’m thankful that she left me something of her to carry—a song I can dance to, a legacy I can live, a road map to changing the world.
And I hope we all can learn to live so freely, love so extravagantly, and dance so passionately as Maggie did.
I hope we learn to leave the somedays in the future as we embrace the now.
I hope we remember to make room for the small encounters.
I hope we determine to change the world one day at a time.
Just one day at a time.