Most, if not all of us are motivated by accomplishments and accolades. We spend a great deal of time, effort and money investing in our futures so that we can become something bigger and better than we currently are. That’s why the majority set goals, especially at the beginning of a new year, quarter or month. The problem is, most of them are only good intentions because not only do a scant few percentages of people write their goals down but an even smaller number actually accomplishes them.
The same can be true when we are working and trying to ‘Be Different’ in our communities and through charitable organizations. Often, we start out with very lofty aspirations while neglecting opportunities that are right at our doorstep. We are busy people. And if we are not careful we are apt to miss some great and important opportunities that are right in front of us.
As is often the case, I can think of a couple of stories in the Bible to amplify my point. The first is the story of the Good Samaritan. This Biblical parable cautions us to not be so caught up in our lives and our responsibilities that we fail to recognize the needs of our neighbors. Jesus used this parable to teach that everyone is our neighbor, no matter how unsightly or different they might be from us. Name any two groups that have a great deal of disdain for each other. It could be sports teams, different religious beliefs, or political parties. Anything you can name will be no less sociologically and relationally opposed than the Jews and the Samaritans were in Biblical times,
Spoiler alert, it took a “Good Samaritan” to come along and render aid to the person injured on the side of the road to a Jewish traveler. People who could have and should have rendered aid simply walked past the man and left him to die. Namely, a priest and a Levite, who apparently had more important things to attend to.
So here’s the point, what needs or problems can you help solve that are right outside your front door or right in front of you as you go along your way? What ideals are you so enamored with or committed to that they blind you from ‘Acting Different’ in small ways every day? Don’t get so caught up in reaching for the stars that you can’t see the steps right in front of you.
If you truly desire to become someone who is ‘Making a Difference,’ you must become more aware of your neighbors and opportunities to serve them daily. I bet if you open your eyes there are a number of wounded people alongside your road today that you can help. It is a daunting task to make the changes needed in our world and cultures today. Rather than trying to solve all the world’s problems yourself today, why don’t you just do what you can do wherever you are? If enough people commit themselves to that, then the differences will multiply over time through our daily, consistent efforts.