If you want to become immortal in the lives of others, you’ll need to contradict your instinctive desire to aggrandize yourself. Phillip Brooks once said,
How carefully most men creep into nameless graves while now and again one or two forget themselves into immortality.
So many of us “creep” into nameless graves because we spend our whole lives worrying about what others think about us. We jockey for position, aspire to the honors of men, and politic our way into the spotlight. For some reason, we associate our worth in this life with the praise of others. Many of us don’t seem to care how and in what form that praise comes to us, just as long as it does. If it’s not, we feel like a failure. We miss the mark, seek for approval in the wrong places, and when we get to the end of our lives, all of that previous glory has forsaken us.
Conversely, the people that have dedicated their lives to others, will soon see them hold their name in high esteem for generations to come. Think about it! In your own personal lives, who will you remember the most? The “stars” and the “rich and famous”? That popular kid at school that only cared about his own image? No way! You will no doubt remember the people that “forgot themselves” in your service. Those people! They are the ones who have become immortal in your eyes. You’ll remember them until the day you die. You’ll tell stories about them to your kids and grandkids. Imagine that! Just by forgetting yourself in the service in others, you can make yourself immortal in their eyes.
There’s a reason the Bible is the most sold book in human history. There’s a reason why that book sits on so many night stands. Because the main character in that book placed his life at the disposal of everyone in His path. He came into this world in a grotto/cave with animal feces lining the floor. “He went about doing good” for 33 years of his life. He had “not a place to lay his head”, and served others without a thought of glorifying himself. That is why He is immortalized in the minds of so many people.
This may seem blasphemous to some, but you can become a “savior” to people. Every time you do something for someone that they cannot do for themselves, you are performing a vicarious work. You are being a “savior” to them. At that moment, you’ve “forgotten yourself into immortality”, and the people you’ve served will never forget you. The memory of everyone else will pass away with time, but there you are…immortal.