From Helplessness to Hopefulness
Parker Johnson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. -Hebrews 13:16 NRSV
It is not always easy to recognize our own lives as a form of ministry. Every day we see needs in the form of homelessness, hunger, immigration concerns, depression and anxiety, war, human rights crises, and more. When we couple that with everyday demands and stressors, it can be difficult to find the time to take care of ourselves, much less others. So, it’s only natural that we might feel as though whatever little things we are doing are simply not enough. I, too, carry this concern.
Last year, I found myself carrying the burden of helplessness after being exposed to so many needs worldwide. It seemed everywhere I went, people felt alone and helpless about the state of the world. While I shared their concerns, I found that the continuous negative chatter took a major toll on me.
I began reaching out to friends and family, asking, “How do you do it? How do you function from day to day knowing that all of this is going on?” I am grateful to those friends and family members, as their advice and personal stories helped to change my attitude from helplessness to hopefulness. While I still struggle with the sheer volume of needs we are exposed to via the internet and television, I now take solace in knowing that I can do something. It’s up to me to act on my concerns. Accordingly, it is up to me to act on the needs I feel most passionate about in order to maximize my impact.
The sacrifice we are called to make in Hebrews is communal in nature. Without the support of our community, we will quickly find ourselves feeling isolated and powerless. Doing good and sharing with others was never meant to be a one-person job.
In God, I live and move and have my being.
Breathing in the Spaces
When you move into different spaces throughout your day, consciously place yourself in the new setting with a desire to be alert to God’s presence. Over time, simply taking a deliberate breath will remind you that you are in God’s presence and that you want to be alert to God’s purposes in that setting. When entering the different spaces in your day (workplace, a colleague’s office, a restaurant or place of business, school or places where people meet) pause and take a deliberate breath. When returning home, pause to take a breath. As you take a deep breath, breathe in the goodness of the profound presence and purposes of God in each place you find yourself. Allow yourself to be drawn to people who may be blessed in simple ways by you being aware of them as persons of worth. -adapted from missionalleaders.org
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.