Helping others is not always easy. But the sooner we understand that God has an abundance of resources, the sooner we could do some amazing things.
Willing To Help – Only When It’s Easy
Each year at our Church, we are invited to take part in something called “Adopt A Senior”. The idea behind it is that senior citizens who are part of the program write up a list of gifts they would like for Christmas and submit it, and then we as members of the Church are randomly handed one of these lists, should we volunteer to take part. Each successive year that my wife and I volunteer, I grow more and more worried – as money gets tighter and tighter – whether or not we’ll be able to pay our own bills if we’re spending what little we have on gifts for others.
This is a terrible way to think. After all, as our pastor said, does God not have an abundance of resources? Sure, it’s easy to surmise that He does, particularly if you’re looking at it from an existential, Heaven-in-the-clouds sort of way. But then, if you consider us – human beings – as his resources on Earth, then surely what our pastor said holds true. We are quite abundant, after all.
One of the reasons I always wanted to be a huge rock star – apart from the fame, having a nice car, a great home, the comfort of knowing my children’s future is provided for – was to be able to have the wealth, power and influence to help other people. It seemed a noble goal. And, of course, what a wonderful idea to give back from what you’ve earned. And to use what enormous resources you have to help others.
Sounds like an excuse to me. Or, rather, sounds as though I’m only willing to help people when it’s easy for me to do so. Far be it from me to do it when it’s difficult.
I don’t know what made me realize that this is what I was doing. But it was truly humbling when it occurred to me. It really smacked me right in the face.
What Am I Doing In The Meantime?
One of my favorite charities/causes is Make-A-Wish. What I like so much about it is that it’s not focused on curing diseases. There are plenty of charities and groups that do that, and don’t get me wrong, they’re absolutely vital. Instead, it asks “while others are working on a long-term goal, what are we doing for those in need in the meantime”?
My whole life, I’ve been so focused on what I would do to help others if I just had the ability to, that I didn’t even notice that I have the ability to. It’s as if, apart from it being easier to do, if we can’t help everyone in large amounts then it doesn’t do to help one person in one tiny amount. That’s silly, isn’t it? Particularly when you consider that if all of us, all of God’s resources here on Earth, were to give a tiny fraction of what we have we actually could help everyone in large amounts.
The truth is, the sooner we understand that here on Earth God truly doesn’t lack for resources, the sooner we could do some amazing things.
Who Can I Help?
But I get it. That’s a long way off. In fact, it may seem so impossible that, hey, if no one else is going to get involved, why should I? What am I really going to be able to accomplish? Who am I really going to be able to help?
Well, you could help that kid dying of cancer get his wish to meet John Cena. You could help your elderly neighbor get his groceries inside. You could help that rescue pup find a new home.
Or you could purchase a few gifts for a senior citizen that you’ve adopted for Christmas.
Or, heck, you could just hold the door open for people and smile whenever you make eye contact with a stranger.
We All Have Something To Give
Doing good things for other people is not always easy. I would actually argue that that’s the case most of the time. When money is extremely tight, it’s hard to part with it. When you’re stretched thin and have little time on your hands it’s a real pain to squeeze something else in. But if we wait around until it’s easy to do, we may not ever do anything for anyone. I would actually go so far as to say “well if you won’t do it, why would anyone else”?
In the end, as I always say, nothing worth doing is ever easy. And maybe that’s where the true value of it is.
So, I have a challenge for you – the next time you get that little envelope in the mail asking you to donate to the ASPCA or Make-A-Wish, (or whatever charity you feel you connect with best) give at least the bare minimum. I’m absolutely guilty of not doing this in the past, so I challenged myself to do the same, and I’ve already donated twice this month. It was difficult, because I didn’t think I had it to give.
But I did. And I do.
And so do you.