We don’t have to look very far to see what’s going wrong. It all feels heavy, dire and needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Where do we start? Who do we help? What can we possibly do to make a small dent for good in this gut-wrenching broken world? Would it even make a difference?
We often fall into the trap of two not-so-helpful choices:
…draining what little time and energy we have getting stuck trying to figure out what is most crucial
…crumpling under the sheer magnitude of all the horror.
There’s a third option. A much better one: make the world a better place because we are in it. Plain and simple.
It REALLY does NOT matter what we choose to invest ourselves in. We might care about clean water for the planet, special education needs in our communities, or our child struggling with normal every-day life.
It can be a big-world, local community or one-person issue. We, all by our sweet selves, can be a powerful force for good.
We’ve already done it thousands of times, most of it small and seemingly insignificant: a smile, a hug, a word of encouragement, a meal made, a listening ear, a thoughtful gift.
No, we can’t do everything. But we can do something. And that is lots better than doing nothing.
You see, all those tiny, supposedly inconsequential moments of good grow into the huge life stories of hope, change and restoration.
The good beats back the bad one choice at a time, one person at a time. It’s not insignificant after all. It’s essential.
I’m not sure where your passion lies, what sets your soul on fire, what your heart longs to see restored.
Be encouraged, my friend.
Your “cup of water” for one “thirsty” person will send ripples of life-changing goodness into the world. Trust the ripple.
17,000,000. The number of apps to manage to-do lists.
TOP priority. Get ‘er done.
The feeling of accomplishment.
Promised peace at the end of the day when it’s all crossed off.
I was trained from a bitty girl to spend time at the day’s end confessing my sins out loud and asking God for forgiveness. “I’m sorry I lied.” “I’m sorry I said mean things to my friend.”
No matter how much good I had given to the world, my final thoughts as I said my bedtime prayers were how I had MESSED UP and what I had NOT done well and who I had offended (in many cases, this happened to be the God of the universe…yikes). NO peace for sure.
Fast-forward to my adult years. Same. Same. Same. Just different stuff. “I’m sorry I screamed at my kids.” “I’m sorry I took a too-long lunch at work.”
One night, my little rebellious self changed it up. “What did you do right today?” I quizzed my husband as we collapsed into bed after wrangling four kids into their beds.
“I smiled at the store clerk,” he mumbled at long last.
I shook my head. I knew he had probably been kind, sought justice, served those he worked with, treated everyone with dignity and respect, along with all the daunting tasks he had crossed off his “to-do” list.
Realizing how much of our day (and night) was taken up with negative thinking, we decided to make this a best practice in the moments before we fell into slumber. “What did you do right today?”
We still began our days with a “to-do” list, but we ended them with a “ta-da” list.
It was STILL NOT the peace we were looking for, but at least a step in the right direction.
Help came in the form of what usually happened right before we crawled into bed, wiped out from the day.
Most nights, the last thing on my never-ending “to-do” list was to slip into each of my kids’ rooms and just watch them sleep (something I still do from time-to-time, even though they are giants at this point).
No matter what had happened during the day, both good and bad, it didn’t seem to matter any more. I would just stand there, gazing at their cute little heads barely visible above their comforters, completely and utterly in love with them, happy.
Yes. Yes. This must be how God feels about us.
While the “to-do” lists and “ta-da” lists matter to us, they don’t seem to matter much to Him.
At BOTH the beginning and end of each day (regardless of either of those lists), he gently reminds us, “I will quiet you with my love. I will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah)
I’m tripping over them. I’m listening to them crackle down from the trees.
Acorns are falling. Everywhere.
I believe wrong things. The myth of scarcity is one of them. It pours into my newsfeed. My television streams it. It permeates conversations. My own thoughts teem with it. Many of my decisions are made because of it.
And it’s downright wrong. A lie.
The myth of scarcity is the idea that there isn’t enough to go around. The world (and the God who created it) is lacking the resources to meet my needs. There’s not enough _______ (fill in the blank) for me and those I love.
At its root (at least for me) is the MEAN monster of fear. And as I know better than I would like to admit, fear strangles and enslaves me.
My reaction to its demands cause me to hoard, fret, close up and off, control, and protect myself physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Just look at the last six months. Hand sanitizer. Frozen vegetables. Wipes.
Acorns speak something completely different. As I unwittingly get “bonked” on the head by one of these brown nuggets for soon-to-be-hibernating creatures, I am not-so-gently reminded.
When I fret over the lack of ________ in my world, and in my own little family, copious acorns point out a better and truer reality.
NOT LACK. ABUNDANCE.
NOT SCARCITY. OVERFLOWING.
God is enough. God has enough.
In fact, God is MORE than enough. And God has MORE than enough.
Last night, I was sucked back to the myth. I started looping around about the LACK of a job for my husband. Possible LACK of money. LACK of security.
Quickly, my thoughts turned to how can I make this okay. What scheme can I come up with to get some money into our pockets? HOW DO I FIX THIS?
(You know the drill! You have your own 2 am thoughts.)
As I let our dog out today, I saw acorns strewn all over our walkway.
“Gotcha, God.” I mumbled under my breath.
No LACK with YOU. Only ABUNDANCE.
No SCARCITY with YOU. Only FULLNESS to OVERFLOWING.
Acorn. Acorn. Acorn.
They will keep falling. There will be MORE than enough.
It doesn’t matter what the job front looks like right now. It doesn’t matter what our bank account looks like. It doesn’t matter if our funds are all “safe and sound.”
God’s got all the “acorns” in the world. And He’s got some for me.