It’s the money month. First day of the financial year and tax agents are poised. Now is when we do our sums and hope for a tidy bonus. It’s also as good a time as any to evaluate our focus.
What makes you tick?
What gets you out of bed of a morning?
What consumes your thoughts?
Hint: money and “me” are bad answers.
A few weeks back there was a little story in this newspaper about a 15-year-old Scotch Oakburn student who raised more than $1000 to send 200 pairs of soccer boots and supplies to Kenya. Lilli Rand’s donation allowed Kimuka Primary School to create their first soccer team. In the story, Lilli said she wanted to give back to the game she loved – she plays for the Southern Raiders Junior Soccer Club and the Tasmanian under-15s representative team. Lilli’s achievement reminded me how important it is to rise above your own circumstances and be aware of the need beyond.
Big picture thinking.
I get a particular buzz when I read of young people with big vision, people with a cause. They have a passion burning within and the only option for them is to do something about it.
As parents, teachers, adults and care-givers, we should do everything within our power to ignite that passion in children, to encourage them to think bigger than their own selfish needs. And nothing is more effective than demonstrating that passion ourselves.
Everyone has a cause.
I think that for every person there is an injustice or a need in the world that wrenches the heart. For some, it’s poverty. For others, it’s disability, homelessness, medical research, fair trade, youth suicide – or a soccer team in Kenya.
I have seen young people hold garage sales, cook cupcakes, brew coffee and give up their time to do sponsored working bees all in the name of a cause. Their passions have prompted them to action and in doing so, they have gained so much. When we get busy diminishing someone else’s need, our own needs also diminish – or at the very least, they pale.
Galatians 6:9 says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (New Living Translation)
I’m reminded of something Edmund Burke said on this topic too: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
What’s your cause?
When you sit down with the tax man this year and are told what kind of return you can expect (or how much the government is expecting from you…), switch to big picture thinking and imagine how much your little bit – your energy and resources – can make a big difference in the lives of others.
What cause wrenches your heart?
As printed in The Examiner newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday July 1, 2013.