Friday, June 19, 2015

Extra effort to make a difference

I just finished "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan, and after each chapter he writes a biography of an amazing Christian.

Most of these people were famous for ministry work, and Chan encouraged people in the book to really search how they are making a difference for God. What would your biography look like after one of those chapters.

Of course, it made me think what legacy I'm leaving behind. I don't have any children, haven't taken care of orphans, haven't moved to a foreign country, haven't started a ministry, haven't sold my house to give the money to the poor. Unfortunately, we are too selfish at this point to have children, and we use our extra funds to have fun and travel while paying off loans. It doesn't sound like we're worthy of a biography in that book.

But then I started to think about where I am. I think I can make a difference right where I am, although I'm not always sure that I am.

We so often focus on the homeless, the hungry, the orphans, the poor --- those are the people we're encouraged to reach out to. However, there are not a ton of people that fit that description where I live. So how do I make a difference?

I decided that instead of feeling guilty that we haven't started a ministry or moved to a foreign country to care for orphans, I would do the best with where I truly think God has put us.

I work with a lot of senior citizens with my volunteer coordinator position, and I have always felt called to be friends with seniors. I think they have so many wonderful stories to tell and so many lessons to share. Yet, so often, these people are overlooked and thought of as unimportant because their prime was long ago.

One of my best friends in my life was a man named Jack. Jack was in his 80s, and yet we corresponded daily and weekly via e-mail. He never felt like he was worth my time. Yet, he showed me so much and gave me so much advice and taught me so many lessons. He was truly a wonderful man.

He was worth getting to know. And you know what? Our volunteers at work are worth getting to know, and they are worth the effort. I love spending time with them, and maybe I can make a difference in their lives.

So I figured, maybe I just need to put in a little extra effort. Maybe instead of just seeing them at work I need to build these relationships outside of the office at well. If they know that I'm not just using them for their volunteerism, maybe that will make a difference to them. Maybe if I share a conversation, a meal, a prayer, they will be able to see that I care about them and will wonder why I care about them beyond my job.

It's difficult when it comes to building relationships with those you work with outside of work, because I know I'm not supposed to get my faith mixed up with work. However, it is. My faith is mixed up in all of my life. How do I get to know these wonderful people and not talk to them about God?

I guess I leave those conversations for outside of work, when I see them as just me, and not work-me. That means, though, that I have to reach out outside of work. I have to continue these relationships, and that means a little extra work. I need to make sure that I am doing the most with what God has given me right now, right where I am, right where he wants me to be.

There's a reason we're still here, and we need to make the most of it --- however, He sees fit.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you're already doing God's work but you don't even realize it! Nate's grama and grampa Roth's calling was to help their elderly neighbors when they lived in Colorado. They didn't realize it was the work they were called to do until many years later. Have fun getting to know your seniors!