My grandfather was the janitor of an elementary school for 47 years. He was perhaps the most influential person in my life. To some, the vocation he chose might seem insignificant, but I know otherwise. When my mother brought me to his funeral as a young man and I saw a line of people stretched around the block where the services were held, I assumed that there were numerous wakes and funerals going on at the same time as my grandfather’s. I later learned that was not the case.
As we stood in the reception line and heard words of encouragement from hundreds of people, I learned that the life my grandfather lived had mattered to many people. Students, teachers, parents, grandparents, neighbors, family and friends all had accounts of how Alexander McKean had made a difference in their life.
Wow! What a life lesson. It was hard for me to believe that this soft spoken, gentle spirited man could have made such an impact on so many people.
My grandfather taught me many things, but 3 quotes stand out;
1- “Wherever you are, be there”
2- “You ought to get a good education so you can get a job in the shade”
3- “Life is a journey not a destination so before you go too far from home, you should take time to look at the map [the bible]”
As we search for significance, we should be mindful that others are watching and that we have an opportunity to make a difference in their lives.