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Tag: acts of kindness

Wheat field at sunrise

How to Reap a Harvest

“Leave a place better than you found it.” Ever since I heard this piece of wisdom from author and speaker, Joe McGee, I’ve repeated it a hundred times, and my kids Wheat field at sunrisemay roll their eyes when we’re leaving a fast food restaurant, or someone’s house, or the church, but I interpret it to mean I’m getting through to them. It’s not always fun to pick up the napkins someone else left on the floor at Dairy Queen or to wipe off the sink at church when someone else left a mess, but I remind them that opportunities will arise when you strive to do more than what is expected.

People will invest in you when you are faithful in the small things.

When my husband’s company posts a hiring ad, typically there is a small project suggestion at the bottom of the job posting. For example: create a video that tells why they’d be a good fit for the company. It’s amazing how many people send over their resume and completely ignore the project request. However, the ones who went the extra mile and created the short video have almost always received a job offer. (I actually can’t think of one who hasn’t, but that might not be the case.)

What is expected of you is the threshold—so do more.

We were not meant to blend in and get by. To be salt and light to the world, we must stand out, and to that, we need to go above and beyond. Take it from Rebekah in the Bible. When Abraham grew old, he sent his servant to go find a wife for his son Isaac. I can imagine the servant stressed out by the big task of finding a bride Two camelsand convincing her to come back with him to an unknown place to marry a man she’d never met. So the servant prayed, help me be successful in this, Lord. He asked it to be a sign if a woman waters his camels then that woman was to be Isaac’s bride. So the servant sat down near the spring and along came Rebekah. He asked her for a drink, and she not only gave him a drink but watered his camels also. Now, this doesn’t sound like too big of a task until you consider that camels can drink up to fifty gallons and the servant didn’t just bring one or two camels—he had brought ten. That is a lot of water to draw from the well. Rebekah went the extra mile, and she reaped a harvest of God’s blessing in return.

It doesn’t have to be a monumental task like watering ten camels. It’s okay to start small. Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” We might not be able to do for all, but we can start with one. Bless them, sow a seed, and watch it turn into a harvest.

Go ahead, leave the world better than you found it.

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water droplet and ripples

Little Ripples, Big Waves

Grand CanyonI haven’t been to the Grand Canyon, but I have done some local hiking. Once, we took the boys, and their usual raucous noises echoed back to them from off the mountain side. They stopped, and each called out “Echo” and smiled as the sound found its way back to us. One of them asked how sound worked, so I launched into my best science professor imitation and said that sound vibrates molecules which carry through the air dispersing like waves in the ocean. They’re called sound waves. When the wave hits a flat surface, it bounces off and travels back to you. My son looked at the rock face in the distance and said, “Wow, it goes a long way.”

One day, I was driving my car and had an overwhelming desire to pray for an old childhood friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in over twenty years. I sent up a quick prayer, Lord, please be with my friend, and kept driving. The feeling intensified over the next several weeks, but I had no idea what to pray. I had no clue what was going on in his life and no way to contact him. I just knew I needed to pray. For the next few weeks, and anytime he came to mind, I would intercede on his behalf. Then, one day, I had peace. I no longer felt the urgent need to pray specifically for him. I probably won’t know on this side of heaven what spiritual battle was being fought for my friend.

Acts of kindness can often be like my prayer. We don’t always get to see how our actions affect someone. Just like we don’t get to see the waves of sound as they’re traveling. If there’s a flat surface, then we get to hear the echo, but otherwise, the sound just continues to radiate outward.

water droplet and ripplesEven though we may not see what difference we make, a small act of kindness can be like dropping a pebble into water and watching the ripples spread outward in all directions. I greet at my church, and I make it a point to try to remember the names of people I meet. It’s not an amazing gesture, not like I pulled someone from a burning building or anything, but I’ve had numerous people tell me that they continued to come to church because I remembered their name. It’s even more amazing when they start bringing their friends and family. It’s that small ripple spreading outward.

Love where you are, whether it’s in small or big gestures. Start a ripple. Who knows, when we get to heaven, we may be surprised how far the ripples from our little pebble spreads, and who we get to spend eternity alongside because our ripple reached them.

Here’s a cute YouTube video of a boy named Zack age three who was confused by his echo at the Grand Canyon:

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