I oftentimes ask God what topics I should write about, what message(s) He wants me to put out there and into the world around me…
Without even knowing what time it was (way too early) this morning, I grew very restless, tossing and turning quite often, and unable to fall back to sleep easily. When I finally had the desire to reach over and nudge my phone on the nightstand to see what time it was, the screen glowed 5:29 a.m. …however, I know I had laid there a good twenty minutes before even wanting to check the time.
And, it is at times such as this one that I lay there and talk to God.
Thank you, God, for another beautiful morning here on this earth. What message would you like me to write about today? …
… and here is what I heard….
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” …well, without knowing who the original quote belonged to – which, by the way, is – Mahatma Gandhi.
Now that is a pretty powerful quote… and very true.
Just the night before, Wednesday evening, I found myself at Messiah Lutheran, located in the southeast corner of the state, watching my four-year-old nephew Jaydon and his pre-school classmates perform a short and sweet play entitled, “No Turkey for Perky (the dog character in the play), which was a story involving a little girl not wanting turkey on Thanksgiving, attempting to feed the turkey to her dog and getting caught, and then her mother allowing her to pick her favorite meal of pizza instead of turkey on this well-known holiday. At the bottom of the Christmasy-green colored, single pamphlet read something along the lines of, “At the end of the play, please send someone to the front of the room to pick up your child.” 🙂
Now, just remember, these four- and five-year-olds are very innocent in God’s eyes – and, even though they know some right from wrong, they are still learning. The majority of the fifteen or sixteen little ones were very excited and eager to perform the well-crafted play in front of their family members…not Jaydon.
Jaydon is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little boy, quite timid in nature and very much afraid to go out of his comfort zone…
Well, he fidgeted, looked around with a scowl on his face, expressing his fear and concern of being in front of a small crowd. He dug or scratched his nose a time or two and refused to sing any of the kid songs that he probably rehearsed with his classmates tons of times. When it came time for his character – if that’s what you call it…a pepperoni, a valuable part to the pizza – to stand, he stood with his hands tucked between his knees with a look of fear frozen across his face.
By that time, I imagined my brother would most likely be thinking…That’s not my kid. What is he doing?
And, Jaydon, of course, most likely assumed that he would be getting a good scolding at the end of this program, followed by a few hounding questions, such as, Why did you not sing, buddy? What was wrong? Are you too shy?
But would that be the right way to go about it? Jaydon just needed a little encouragement and love, not a stern scolding and judgment placed upon him (poor little guy).
Encouragement is just what Jaydon received. His facial expression showed just how thankful he was that the play was finally over (all fifteen minutes worth) and the room applauded a couple times. He waited patiently for his dad to get him, and he was embraced with hugs and words of, Good job, buddy. Nice work. You look so nice and did a great job.
Encouragement and love is just what Jaydon needed, not judgment and a stern scolding.
This true story brings me to my next point: The people of this world need more encouragement, love, other people to be there for them and to lift them up when they struggle, as well. We all need that.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
Here are some suggestions…
Kill people with kindness.
Turn the other cheek (Luke 6:29) when someone hurts you. After all, God calls us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), you know.
Encourage instead of discourage (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Love instead of hate (John 13:34).
Help others in their time of hardships and struggles, failures, and sinful nature instead of judging (Matthew 7:1). Remember, only God has the right to judge us.
Have patience with others (Galatians 5:22). Example: Have patience with someone who messes up an order at the drive-thru at McDonald’s or who accidentally shorts your change.
Choose to love the diversity that God places in this fallen world. We are all children of the Most High God, and He loves us equally.
Smile or wave at the next person who gives you the wrong look or a bad finger at the intersection, or smile at someone who gives you a dirty look or a look of unacceptance.
Lend a helping hand to someone who needs it. Help the elderly. Hold a door open for someone. Jump out of your comfort zone. Treat others out of pure love, how God intended us to treat each other.
Pay for a meal for someone who is less fortunate or volunteer at a homeless shelter or animal shelter.
Tell someone about Jesus and how much they are loved by God, even if it’s the simplest of words and we are in need of encouragement and boldness ourselves. Tell them about God’s love for us, how it is unimaginable and indescribable.
These are the types of changes that I want to see in the world. These are the types of examples I want to set for others.
We are here on this earth only to please and do great works for our Heavenly Father, to be His hands and feet, to go where we are told, and to do what He calls us to do, whether explained or left a mystery as to why.
What changes do you wish to see in the world? Please share your comments with us below!