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.