I have recently been working on making my life better, and the way that I have chosen to do so is by volunteering.

One day after worship I happened on a conversation about the work facing the refugee committee.  I was entranced and immediately volunteered to help out.  What a blessing that has been.  I have learned so much, I have been able to give in a way that makes a difference and I have been able to share the good news of what we are doing.

Then I got invited to a meeting of another committee, and the work under discussion sounded interesting and I am pretty certain that I will stay involved with them in some way.

And as interesting and fulfilling as I find the work of these committees, what is much more interesting is the number of people who comment that I am so good to be helping out.  While the praise and acknowledgement are nice, what I always say to people, is this….. I am doing this for me.

And in a way it is true.  I believe passionately that those of us who are called in God’s Kingdom are also called to contribute to it in a real, positive and lasting way.  We are all called to make a difference that brings hope, healing and joy into the world.

And so, one day I woke up and decided that I could no longer spend all my time focusing on my own problems and my frustration that God does not seem to be answering my prayers.  I needed something positive to happen in my life that took the focus off of all the jobs that I apply for and don’t get.  And once I opened myself up to my own need to be faithfully working in God’s kingdom, the opportunities to make a difference have come along.

So yes, I do what I do out of love for God and because I am responsible for living faithfully.  But I also recognize that I benefit from what I give.  I feel better about myself.  I have something worthwhile to put my energy into.  I have more energy to put into the relationships that mean a lot to me.  I feel like I have a purpose when I wake up in the morning.

Now I realize that the changes in me have come about because I have responded to what God is asking of me, and in a way I see it as a chicken and an egg situation.  What I do for God benefits me.  What I do to bring purpose into my life impacts God’s kingdom in a positive way.  Which came first?  I don’t know and I don’t think it matters.  I am happy doing what I do and I am thrilled that it makes a difference to others.

What I hope is that more people discover the truth, the joy and the blessing of giving themselves to God and filling their own life with amazing gifts.