Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Becoming fatigued in our acts of doing good (Galatians 6:9).

SCRIPTURE: Galatians 6:9 (TM)
So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit.

Dwight Morrow, the father of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, once held a dinner party to which Calvin Coolidge had been invited. After Coolidge left, Morrow told the remaining guests that Coolidge would make a good president. The others disagreed. They felt Coolidge was too quiet, that he lacked color and personality. No one would like him, they said. Anne, then age six, spoke up: "I like him," she said. Then she displayed a finger with a small bandage around it. "He was the only one at the party who asked about my sore finger." "And that's why he would make a good president," added Morrow. 

When thinking about “doing good” we often think from the grand scale perspective when in truth it is those small things that matter the most … like noticing a little girls sore finger.

There is another story I like to tell. It involves William Booth’s, the founder of the Salvation Army, first visit to the city of New York. He and his host were walking along one of the busy streets in this noisy city – horns blaring, people shouting, traffic flowing – when he stopped dead in his tracks. “Did you hear that,” he asked. “Hear what? I can barely hear myself speaking,” his friend responded. Mr. Booth then leaned his ear towards the sidewalk and followed what he heard. There in one of the cracks between the sidewalk and a building was a small cricket chirping away.

We hear what we want to hear and we see what have trained ourselves to see. “Get fatigued doing good” is a simple instruction to train ourselves to think about others and the various ways that simple things can lift their spirit, make life a little easier for them … just simple acts of grace in a noisy and overly busy world. In our church we call them “salty service” because they add flavor to the life for which the task is being given.

These godly instructions are simply but challenging. We seldom become “fatigued” in doing good. We are too “me” centered to go that far. We are always looking after our own self-interest to place ourselves on the line for others. Oh, we do our “salty service” if it is convenient, if it doesn’t require too much time, energy or financial resources … and if the person for which the task needs to be performed is of a particular variety of person – we won’t do it just for anyone. After all we do have our standards! And then there are the closing words to these instructions: “don’t give up, or quit.”

The need is so great that we could be overwhelmed. Where does one start? No one can answer that question for someone else, but look around there are plenty of sore fingers waiting to be noticed and there are plenty of individuals who feel like they are “just” a small, unnoticed cricket in a noisy city who no one will notice or care about. We just have to train our eyes to see them and our ears to hear.

Make us sensitive to others and then give us the courage to start doing for others regardless of the cost to ourselves.

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