I got a little something in the mail yesterday. It traveled more than 3500 miles to reach me, was a lovely surprise, and though it didn’t cost a whole lot of money, it communicated a bunch. See, my friend Mel lives across the pond. She knows I enjoy chocolate and believe European chocolate is far superior to its American counterpart. She also knows that getting packages in the mail is one of my favorite things. In one small, simple act, I was reminded that someone knows me, was thinking of me, and cared enough to take action to demonstrate it.
I also got an awesome text last night from a friend in Colorado. It took all of 30 seconds to type and send, but it reaffirmed and encouraged me to keep leaning into my identity and calling. I promptly transferred those words into my journal for safekeeping. Man, I’m so thankful for the wonderful people God’s placed in my life!
This world is in need. There’s the obvious stuff like starvation, war, disease, lack of clean water, and natural disasters, but there are also less visible needs. People we interact with on a daily basis have it “together” on the outside but are shriveling up and dying on the inside. With such overwhelming numbers, distance, and circumstances, it can paralyze. What could I do to help? How much difference could one person make?
As I considered my Cadbury eggs and my latest journal entry, I was reminded of a message preached by Andy Stanley not too long ago called, “One, Not Everyone.” If you’ve got a spare forty minutes you can listen to it here, but I’ll summarize it for you in one statement: Do for one what you wish you could do for many.
You don’t have to get a doctoral degree and cure cancer, become a professional counselor, travel to a distant land, or be a billionaire in order to impact the world (although if you wanted to attempt any of these things, I would cheer for you all the way!). When you’re feeling small…like you can’t possibly make a difference and what you do doesn’t matter, refocus on affecting just one person’s life. Send a note to a friend or co-worker, give a compliment to the cashier, take a minute to talk to the next child you encounter, buy a treat for the person in line behind you…before you know it, these little things add up to big impact. It’s addicting – soon you start looking for opportunities to bless others in words and action.
Imagine if it went viral. If all of us did for one what we’d like to do for many, the world would look a lot different than it does today. That is how you change the world – with the little things, one person at a time.
Where will you begin?