This past week, I had the pleasure of serving the community of Nashville, Tennessee, with my college/young adult ministry group, Jubilee.
Now, I'm not going to lecture you on why you should chose an alternative spring break trip over a traditional one. That's not the point. What I want to address today is this-- community service.
Whether you live in Orange County, California, or a natural-disaster-ravaged small Midwest town, every community could use a little help. Every community has someone who could benefit from your talents, your time. Every community calls for service.
A lot of the time, that's how things get done. When government and private sector responsibilities are shirked, a lot of times, it's regular Joes and Janes like you and me who step up to provide the social services and support that communities lack. A lot of times, we see the problems more clearly, more directly, than the federal government or a corporation can, and therefore, we can solve them more efficiently as well.
The issue these days is a lack of resources and a lack of concern from citizens, not a lack of perspective. We know there are problems in our community, so in order to combat our lack of resources and concern, we must build institutions that pool resources, ask for, or create them, and inform and excite people with the idea of reaching out into the community.
And that's a tough thing to do. But our talents, our experience-- that's how we can help the best.
I've been involved in community service of some sort for the past five years or so, but until this week I had never realized exactly how my skills and interests can translate into service for others. Of course, if you already hate cleaning your own room, you may not be the best volunteer to clean up a park. But if you love to draw, you could be a great volunteer to teach art classes to kids who don't have access to art in their homes or schools.
Something beautiful and fruitful can come out of our talents when we decide to share them with others and not just hoard them for the trophy cases. So I challenge you to evaluate what it is that you've got to share, and share it!
Something beautiful happened this week in Music City. So my latest goal, in my community at IU and Btown, my community in Westfield, Indiana, and my global community, is to make my talents lively and loving, not just lucrative.