Tonight I had this great talk with my room mate about complacency, and America, and how we really wanted to live our lives out for something more- a higher purpose- each and every day. We talked about how so often we were living for the weekends and how we didn't want to do that. About how life is short, and we don't want to take it for granted. We want every day and every hour to count for God's glory.
We were challenged by the thought that in this life we only have 3 things to give away: our time, our money, or our prayers. Thus we questioned each other.. How can we truly live each day- not selfishly- but for a higher purpose? What can we do to help the world, help the less fortunate, help others? And I was reminded that it starts with one and it starts small.
What does living unselfishly mean when you are in college and taking classes about your career, looking for a potential partner for your entire life, and making decisions that will forever change your future?
It's funny that we had just talked about that because tonight at contra dancing, a mom and her daughter came up to me and begged me to help them. They told me this long story asking for money for a bus ride to get back home and get their daughters' insulin. Honestly, I didn't know what to do. They seemed genuine enough but I didn't know for sure and wasn't for sure if I should just give them $40 and let them walk away. I found one of my friends- this girl who I knew had a walk with Christ and had been a missionary as well, slighly older than me- and asked her to come to talk to them. Immediately, my friend became the face of Jesus as she shook hands with the mom and daughter and decided to find a way to meet their needs. She told them she had a car and would drive them wherever they needed to go and get them food for their hungry daughter with type one diabetes. With no hesitation, she left the dance floor (grabbing a guy for safety) and served. She did it so naturally- I was so inspired and blown out of proportion by her genuine love for them. I believe this is the love that is so contagious and truly sets souls on fire for Jesus.
I believe that God does want us to make a difference (even while we are in college) but He wants to remind us that we can make a difference in small ways (we don't have to give thousands of dollars that we don't have and we don't have to fly across the country in order to serve).
You know those people that get taken advantage of because they are ALWAYS willing to help you? Or that guy that always asks about you and just listens? Those people are making a difference? Or what about pledging to not drink anything but water for a month and putting the drink money towards your favorite charity? Or working one extra hour a week and using that money to sponsor a child? Sometimes society makes it seem like we have to have it all together in order to help others- but I believe that's Satan's lie.
Sometimes it's hard to think of ways you can help others. I know I'm going to begin praying that God would use me more right where I am, but while I am waiting here are a few ideas of things I'm considering that I could do to serve.
1. 30 hour famine. If you can't raise $100 to formally participate, support someone who is with the money it would cost you to eat 4 meals. By doing the famine, think about Christ and children around the world when you are hungry.
2. Fill a shoe box for Operation Shoe box kids. (These are due in one week).
3. Support your friends going on a mission trip. Even if you don't have $100, they will still appreciate your $20 donation and prayer, or offer to help them organize a bake sale.
4. Pray for your friends and enemies, people fighting in war, missionaries, the president, and your country.
5. Go on community service and get involved. Try different projects or take initiative to visit your favorite places (the jails, orphanages, hospitals, foster homes, or animal shelter).
6. Show your friends and family you care by writing them letters.