Tag Archives: help

Child of the Fear Era

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As a college graduation gift to myself, I planned a trip to Maui to visit a good friend of mine. My flight was significantly delayed so I pulled out a deck of cards and started playing solitaire. The middle aged guy sitting across from me offered to teach me a new card game. At first, I was hesitant. I grew up hearing about child abducters, rapists, terrorists attacks and scammers. I’m very much a child of the fear era and not interacting with strangers is our #1 rule. However, I knew solitaire was not going to keep my occupied for the next hour. Plus we were in the middle of the ever crowded LAX airport with TSA officers everywhere. Seeing as the guy hadn’t asked for any personal information, it was much more likely he was an equally bored traveler rather than a scammer or a skeeze. So I said okay.

I don’t remember what the game was, but I remember being pleasantly surprised by the company. We talked about our lives in general terms…his girlfriend, my job, his traveling experience, my boyfriend. He had been to Maui before so he gave me some great tips on places to visit. When our plane was finally ready to board, we said thank you and good bye. I never saw him again but I will be forever grateful to him for turning a terribly boring vacation start into one that was actually fun.

I realized that day that while being a child of the fear era has its perks (we no longer take candy from strange guys in vans) it also has a lot of negative side effects. We are afraid of almost everybody. When it comes to strangers, we don’t casually talk to them, we don’t politely tell them they have toilet paper stuck to their shoe, we don’t compliment them on thier adorable handbag and ask where they got it, and we NEVER stop to help them on the side of the road.

Of course, I don’t think we should just start picking up hitch hikers. The fact of the matter is we live in a sick world with sick people and we absolutely have to protect ourselves. I’m just saying we shouldn’t be wary of every single stranger interaction. Along with the sickos, there are also alot of good people out there.  We miss out on so many opportunities by burying our heads in our phones rather than looking around and making new human connections.

Another time in an airport, my mom and I were waiting to board a plane and a young woman asked us if she could use my mom’s cell phone because hers had died. Again, the fear generation flag started waving. But my mom is the sweetest woman ever and gave the stranger her phone. The woman stayed right in front of us, made her call, thanked us profusely, and left. I talked about it with my mom afterwards and she said “You know, that woman could have picked anyone in the terminal. She probably picked us because we seemed safe. She trusted us not to hit on her or be rude or use the phone number she dialed as a way to scam her. I figured the least I could do was trust her.”

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The Generous Mr. Lovewell Project

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My new favorite song is “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” by MercyMe. Take a listen. I’ve included the lyrics below the video.

Verse 1:
He wakes up every day the same
Believing he’s gonna make a change
Never wonders “if” but “when”
I guarantee he can find a way
To reach out and make somebody’s day
‘Cause someone took the time with him

Pre-Chorus 1:
He believes it’s the little things
That make a great big change

Chorus:
Hey Mr. Lovewell
Doing today what you do every day
No matter how small believing it’s all the same
Come on, Mr. Lovewell
Oh we could use a few more just like you
Who care enough to give this life away
‘Cause you’ve been changed
The generous Mr. Lovewell loves today

Verse 2:
It may be a simple, “How do you do?”
The king of thing that can pull them through
A minute or two can mean so much
Or maybe it’s the one across the street
He’s asking if there’s anything they need
‘Cause they will know us by our love

Pre-Chorus 2:
It may not mean that much to him
But it’s the world to them

Bridge:
We all need more Mr. Lovewells

My favorite line in the song is “Never wonders ‘if’ but ‘when.'” How different would life be if we approached everyday knowing that we were going to help people and just wondering how and when that would happen. What if instead of just praying for opportunities to serve we started looking for them? What if we lifted our heads from our cell phones and computers for 5 minutes and look around to see who needed us?

So how are you going to “lovewell” this week? Little things matter just as much as small things. Taking a meal to a sick friend is just as important building a house in Mexico. Smiling at someone can open the door to sharing the gospel. Being polite is just as important volunteering at a soup kitchen. Showing God’s love is just as important as sharing it. I challenge you to think of 7 “lovewell” acts to do this week, one for each day. Tell me your plans and then tell me how it went. Here is my plan

  1. Write an encouraging note to a friend
  2. Tip a cashier and tell him or her “good job.”
  3. Give out three compliments to strangers or people I don’t talk to that often
  4. Tell someone thank you for something they did for me
  5. Smile at everyone
  6. Open the door for people
  7. Offer to help carry something heavy

I’ll report back next week!

Good Steward

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I’m very serious about finding a new job before summer hits. One thing that God has been telling me repeatedly, usually through sunday sermons, is that I must seek His will first. My goal cannot simply be to find a new job, it must be to find the job that He wants me to have. So I should be praying just as much, actually even more, than I am filling out resumes and applications. I decided that I was going to dedicate one day a week to fasting and praying specifically for a new job. My first day was last week and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t make it all day. I made it to 4:30pm. But for someone who has never fasted before, and who is very much in love with food, I thought that was a pretty good start. I’ll get to a full day eventually. Anyways my prayer time that day was very interesting. Not gonna lie, I was secretly hoping God would reveal my dream job to me on day one. But He didn’t. Instead, he told me that I need to be a better steward of the job I already have.

This struck me as odd at first. I thought I was being a great steward of that job. I show up on time, I do what my bosses tell me, I rarely call in sick. I consider myself a pretty darn good employee. But further prayer and introspection showed me that I’m not doing anything to build relationships there. I’m not mean to people, but I’m not really friendly either. I just go in, do my job,and leave. At my company, culture and community mean alot and I’m starting to realize that alot of people think I don’t like them because I don’t talk to them. That’s not the case at all. There are lots of reasons why I don’t talk alot at work, which I won’t get into right now, but its never because I don’t like people. It has become very clear to me that I need to make a bigger effort to get to know people. Even just little things like saying hi to individuals at the beginning of a shift, asking someone how his weekend was or complimenting a girl on her new hair cut. It’s not like I need to change my personality over night and become this super out going yappity yap girl. I just need to make an effort.

I always thought I was working at In N Out again just to make a paycheck. But maybe God actually has a purpose for putting me there. Maybe there is someone He wants me to reach out too, to love, to help. I’ll never know if I don’t lift my head up every once in a while and say “hello.” So while I am definately still going to look for a new job, I’m going to try to have a better attitude about the one I have and maybe make a bit of a difference in someone’s life before I leave.