I began as the youth director at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church in 2004. Before I joined UDLC, in the Middle East, a war had been underway for a little over a year. A friend of mine, Chris had joined 1,000's of other men and women who went over seas to fight for his country.
Over the past, 7.5 years, I have seen men and women leave and come back. I have talked to and met some of these returning vets and seen what fighting can do to a person.
In the last year, I saw one of the students, who traveled with our group to multiple summer projects, who I worked with in catechism classes. I watched him then stand up and in front of the congregation announce that in the face of all the conflict world wide and after a year in college he was joining the Army. Not just join the Army, but the infantry. Not to just join the fight, but to be on the ground fighting. He was willing to put his life in harms way for his country.
Sam is not alone. Now, I don't mean joining the Army, but in looking beyond himself to see how he could help the greater good, the world, and serve his fellow man. Many times our students see things bigger than themselves. They see how the world needs them and they answer.
Now, not everyone is joining the military, but they hear a call. A call to serve with Chosen 300 or to travel down to the Appalachian Communities and meet the families and learn from them, work and serve with them. They take up causes, walk to raise money for charity or just offer a listening ear or hug when needed.
So this Christmas and what have you done? Another day is over and new one is, well beginning. What will you do before the year is out and what will you do next year? What will you do to make this world better?
People often talk about all the bad, but often we stop before we can look to the good and what good we can bring. So as we all open gifts, serve food, enjoy time together and take time to enjoy what we have this year, maybe find a way to bring that to others who may or may not have it.
- Open and hold a door for someone.
- Smile and say hello to a stranger (in appropriate situations)
- Carry bags to a car or the house for a neighbor or someone you can see who needs it.
- Take the time to ask and then listen to how someone's day is going.
- Use basic manners. Hello, thank you; You're Welcome will do more than you know to brighten people's spirits.
I opened this post with a video by John Lennon about War being over and now I leave you to ponder another song by Lennon and sung by someone it affected deeply.