Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Do All the Good You Can

Part of why I chose to become a Methodist is because of this quote from the church's founder, John Wesley.

To me, it kind of epitomizes the Great Commandment - love God and love your neighbor.  You follow that commandment and everything else falls into place.  And when you choose to love others, you just might find that you come to a place where you want your love to be actionable.

But sometimes... the need for good in the world is just flat out exhausting.

Because the needs can never all be met.

I'm usually pretty good about being able to "brush off" things happening in far away places.  I accepted a long time ago that other people feel a call to help thos ein need around the globe.  I feel more of a pull to love and care for those in need all around me.

At Christmas, charitable giving and caring for others goes into overdrive.  The demand is higher, the needs are greater, and there is more outpouring.

But it isn't enough.

I don't pretend to think that I can save the world.  Or save a single person, really.

But I find myself a little overwhelmed this year... by the people sitting in the frigid cold with nowhere to go and nothing to eat.  Buying them soup doesn't seem like enough.  Or by the moms struggling to make ends meet and also provide a Christmas for their kids.  Buying them presents doesn't seem like enough.  Or all the kids in foster care who would love nothing more than to have a healthy and normal family.  Buying a kid a gameboy doesn't seem like enough.

Sometimes, I think that if I had the money of Bill Gates for 1 day... I think about renting out entire hotels to give the homeless a place to go and get clean and sleep, warm and safe, for a night.  I think about buying the ridiculous and large mansion that could house so many but sits empty and unused.  I think about the programs that need funding and the food that needs to be provided and the gifts that kids are wishing for and the fears of instability and the marriages that need repairing and the jobs that need to be created and the medical issues that need paid for and...

And it can all get to be overwhelming.  And sad.  And I feel so... helpless.  Like I can't possibly do enough good.  Even if I'm trying to do all the good I can.

And just when I feel like I'm starting to really get staretched thin by trying to do good...

I see something that reminds me of how blessed I am.

And how important it is to keep doing all the good I can.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for your post. I was drawn to the Methodist church (not an official member yet, but a regular attendee) for other reasons, but seeing this quote at church helped me know I was in the right place. I appreciate knowing that I'm not the only one overwhelmed with what I can or can't do. I see the wish lists of the shelters nearby and want to go through my entire house and give them everything I can. Goodness knows, I don't need everything I have and if someone else has nothing-I should share. Then I get confused because there are so many shelters and needs. It's important to me that I do what I can and realize I can't do everything.