Dear God, every once in a while Fred Smith will write a blog that sparks something in me that I feel like I need to pray through. His post today is one of those times.
I was part of a committee a couple of years ago that always seemed like a waste of time. My criticism of it was that the woman leading it seemed to go out of her way to make it not be an imposition on the members, but in doing so she made it feel more like a waste of time. It felt like I was just killing an hour at the meeting.
The same can be true of a lot of things, and I can be guilty of it as well. One of the problems with our board meetings for the nonprofit where I work is that the board members can feel like they have too little to do. They come and hear book reports about what the staff is doing, either bless it or give some constructive criticism on how it can be better, and then they move on. We’ve worked over the last couple of years to make the meetings more engaging so that everyone feels the joy of their involvement here.
On the other side of the equation, I got a thank you card from a volunteer yesterday. I had sent her a note thanking her for coming to help on a special project and she replied:
Thank you for your kind letter. It is I who should thank you though. Putting tabs on the newsletter was good “therapy” for me–doing something useful, getting me away from Mom’s move to Fredericksburg, and delightful conversation with you and Carol…I am happy to help when I can.
And I know all of this. I know that I get more joy in giving and working than I get from taking and receiving. In fact, I think that it is actually awkward for most of us to receive from others and ask them to do things. That’s probably why we try to make it as easy and convenient as possible.
Father, help me to remember this lesson today. Help me to remember to, first, demand the best of myself. Then help me to lovingly expect the best of the staff and volunteers here at our nonprofit. Help me to continue to lovingly hold my children to a high standard. Keep me from getting in the way of how you are developing them as adults. And help me to spread your joy to all around me so that others might be drawn to you.
In Jesus’s name I pray,