I don’t care how old you are, how young you are, how extroverted you are, or how introverted you are; everyone wants to know that what they do in life matters. Inside every one of us is a deep sense that we were made to make a difference on this planet.
We want to make an impact. We want to make a change.
In my experience as a child, I remember hearing these ideas all the time from Disney movies to after school specials that I could make a difference. Michael Jackson was telling us all, we needed to “make that change”. The movie “The Sandlot” (one of the greatest movies of all time) lit a fire into many a kid that they could be a “legend”! However, a few years later I would find myself working in a hot distribution plant, placing labels on boxes, and boxes on a conveyor belt, and thinking, “this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind”. This job certainly didn’t feel legendary and my warehouse manager didn’t look anything like Wendy Peffercorn!
I began to understand during that time in my life that “making a change” may look a little different in “real life”.
I was reminded of this the other day at the ball park with my boys.
This year has been particularly fun because Isaiah and Aaron were able to get on the same tee ball team together. It’s a guaranteed 2hrs of cheering for ANY form of progress, praying deeply spiritual prayers that they hit the ball off the tee, and every once in a while dreaming about what it would be like if they ended up going pro. For two competitive parents like Kelley and I, it can be quite the emotional roller coaster.
The other night Aaron had a really good game. This means he hit the ball of the tee, scored a run, and didn’t pick any flowers in the outfield. I was proud of my little man. However, it was what he did after the game that took my breath away.
Attending the game with us was a precious friend who had recently found out that her current job contract would be coming to a close. She would certainly be in need of new employment and possibly have to relocate to find work. After the game, while loading up the stroller and sports bag into the van, I felt led to pray for her. Kelley and I began to pray that the peace of God would be on her during this time of transition and that the provision of God would quickly come.
Just as soon as we said amen, our 5yr old Aaron walked up with about 37cents in his hand and placed it in our friend’s hand. As soon as he handed her the change, he walked off just as quickly as he came. That small transaction took all of maybe 3 seconds.
It was in those 3 seconds that I was reminded of 3 simple secrets about making a change.
1. BE AWARE: Sometimes we can be so overwhelmed by all of the MAJOR needs in the world that we completely miss opportunities to make a change in the world right around us. Our eyes and ears can be so saturated with GoFund Me campaigns or causes across our social media feeds that we become deaf to the simple prayers being prayed within our earshot.
Aaron overheard a very simple and non dramatic prayer for provision…and he responded.
2. WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND: Often the needs around us feel so MASSIVE that we can’t see how the “little” we have to offer will make much of a difference. Aaron couldn’t give her a job or pay for her potential moving expenses. All he had in those little hands, still dirty from the ballpark, was 37cents…but he gave what he had. In all actuality he probably got the change from me earlier, but isn’t that how we all are. Our talents, treasure, time…it all comes from God. At times we may not feel like we have much or maybe not AS much as “them”, but the key to making a change isn’t to out give others.
The key to making a change is looking into your hand and no matter how seemingly great or small the talent or treasure…giving.
3. MOVE ON: I’m all about celebrating a win! I love a good party and it is very important as leaders to recognize and reward service on our teams! However, sometimes we can spend so much time celebrating and collecting back slaps for helping others; you’re almost left wondering if we’re gonna do anything else worthwhile in this life or if we should just stop while we’re ahead. I love that Aaron simply came, gave, and moved on. If we want to build momentum and a life time of change we can’t get stuck making memorials in our honor and constantly looking through clippings of our accomplishments.
We must humbly rejoice in the opportunity to be used and then “rinse and repeat”.
There are opportunities all around you to make a change!
What is in your hand?
What are you waiting on?