What We Really Need
After being saturated with election related news the last 72 hours, I’m feeling like what America truly needs right now is some solid retail therapy followed by a Hallmark channel Christmas movie marathon. #amiright The mood of our country just seems sour.
I won’t discuss politics or presidents on this blog because I don’t actually enjoy a good debate. However, I will discuss my thoughts on parenting and what I believe God is teaching me personally.
For the last several weeks, I’ve felt God impressing upon my heart that I need to serve others. I serve my family every day (*ahem* all day, every day), but rarely do I pause in the midst of serving them to look out and see who else in my life I could help. When I felt God first calling me to serve others more I quickly responded with, “Oh, I would, but I’ve got 2 reasons I can’t. Their names are Atlas and Andi Rose.” Then I responded with, “But I will, when the kids get older.”
But as I thought on it more and continued reading in God’s word, I was convicted by my initial response. My kids shouldn’t keep me from serving others. My kids should be one of the biggest motivators for me to serve. Because they are watching. In the busy-ness that comes from serving them, I’ve forgotten how important it is to teach them to serve.
It seems like the last 72 hours have been filled with so much tension, animosity, name-calling and hate. I can’t control the messages coming from the White House, but I can control the message in my house.
One thing I’ve taught Atlas is that his name is Atlas Andrews and Andrews are good to people. We say this often in our home (I’m still trying to convince him that yes, Andi Rose is in fact ‘people’). When he is being ugly to his sister, I ask him, “Hey! What’s your name?” He always responds with, “Atlas Andrews.” And I say, “And what are Andrews?” He replies with, “Andrews are good to people.” And that’s the message I’ll continue to teach him, no matter who is president.
People matter. And we are happiest when we are serving and helping – not updating our social media feeds with hateful and harsh words. I don’t want Atlas and Andi Rose to see me complaining over an election. I want my children to see me asking those around us, “How can I help?”
I was challenged by the Lord this week to give him my resources – my time and my money – and ask Him how he can use it to help others. John 6 holds the story of Jesus miraculously feeding over 5,000 people using 5 small loaves of bread and 2 small fish from a little boy’s lunch. When that little boy offered up his lunch to Jesus, he probably couldn’t imagine how God would use it to meet the needs of so many.
I certainly can’t help all the people who are hurting in our country. And neither can you. However, if we offer what we can to those around us- no matter how small it may be – we could begin meeting the needs and healing the hurts of more people than we imagine.
I’ve read more comments on social media this week than I can count about how people are so worried for the next generation. But I think we have more impact on the next generation than our president does. How we treat each other and how we teach our children to treat others will have a far greater impact on our communities over the next 4 years than 1 man or woman. I’m certainly not discounting the power of the President, but I am suggesting that perhaps we are all giving too much credit to 1 person for a responsibility that falls on us all. The responsibility to do good. To be good. To love and to serve. If we disconnect from our phones and start connecting with those around us and coming up with creative ways to serve/give/help/guide, perhaps our communities will start to change and more importantly, our hearts.
We are Americans. And Americans are good to people. Our kids won’t learn that concept from the President. They will learn it from us – & it’s a lesson we won’t teach with our words, but rather with our actions.
The holidays are here & I truly can’t think of a more appropriate time to seek out people in our lives who could use some good. 🙂