January 14, 2013 - Miscellaneous

Does what we do matter in the long haul?

In other words, when we have an opportunity to do something for someone else, does it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? Not that it should determine doing good—but what is the impact?

In society today, a popular buzz-phrase encourages us to perform “random acts of kindness”.  But as Christians, we are instructed to perform routine or continual acts of kindness. In fact, it should be a way of life for Christ followers.

Colossians 3:12 states,

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, patience,

When I was six years old, I was arguing with my big brother, Bob. It was about something stupid (I did that a lot). He responded to my whining by asking me if I wanted to help him cut the grass of one of our neighbors. Now, that was an honor.

Bob made money each week by cutting grass, but I had never been allowed to go with him (even though I had begged relentlessly) because, as a kid, I was more of a liability. But I admired him, and wanted to be involved with what he was doing.

I was shocked but excited that he would ask me to go with him. And as if that were not cool enough, he offered to share the money with me! I had never done anything that earned me money—I was ecstatic!

Before Bob got busy cutting the grass with the lawn mower, he taught me to trim around the trees with a pair of shears. It sounds dangerous, but it really wasn’t.

I worked hard and tirelessly—it was a treat to work alongside someone I admired so much. Every now and then I watched him as he pushed the mower, and kept an eye on me to make sure I was okay.

When we were finished, he collected his five dollars, and handed one of them to me. In those days, a dollar was a pile of money—more than I deserved, especially as a six-year-old fumbling with clippers for an hour.

As I was basking in the glory of the moment, he did something else—something that would have an impact on me forever. He took me to the old country store at the end of our block, and bought me a Tastykake—a chocolate, crème filled cake that I had never had before. Money was tight in our home in those days, and we didn’t get to eat such treats.

It may sound simple, but to me it was even better than the money. The fact that it has been one of my fondest memories for over 50 years should speak for itself. My relationship with my brother changed that day—he cared, he showed it and I felt it. Instead of arguing with his little brother, he showed me love and made a difference.

But it did something else too—something much more powerful than he ever imagined. It gave me a bar—a standard I would apply to my life over and over whenever I felt as if what I was doing didn’t matter.

By the way—to this day, my favorite Tastykake is still chocolate crème filled. I buy it whenever I can, with the fondest of memories.

Question: Has someone touched your life in a simple but meaningful way? Comment below. I would love to hear your stories!