My dad has a saying - "Do something, even if it's wrong!" Sometimes we approach ministry and volunteer opportunities with that frantic state of mind.
"I have to do something. Anything. Because yesterday I did nothing. I'm the first to admit - if I did nothing yesterday it does seem anything is better than that. I'm anxious to produce fruit and express my faith with good works.
"Running around like a chicken with your head cut off" (that's a saying from my Granny) isn't typically God's plan for ministry. It's been my plan for all sorts of decisions. Actually, my plan was more like this... if it won't be an absolute failure, I must be supposed to do it - because someone should do it. If I can make a living at it, I'll take the job. If I can sell the books, I'll buy them. If I know how to put out food at the community meal, I'll volunteer there. Lots of "if I"s.
So, this post is a volunteer idea - but it isn't for everyone. I'm going to post these from time to time because I'm an idea person. I have a gazillion ideas. More than enough for myself, so I'm sharing them. Please do not abscond with ideas and turn them into ministries that aren't meant for you. How will you know? Well, if you don't know - ask God about it, and listen for his answer.
If you don't know how to play piano - concert ministries are not meant for you. That's an easy one, but spending time alone with God, allowing him to shine light on the talents and abilities He wants you to use is extremely important. We will all share the work, and sometimes you'll be called to work. As my girls were growing up, I wanted to be a mom that loved them and taught them to be wise and loving. I also had to change diapers, give them baths, and help them find missing socks. That wasn't the passionate calling, but rather work that needed to be done.
So, don't just "get busy", seek to be available to God. Today there will be prayers of pleading, "God, please help me." "God, be close to me, I feel so alone." "Please send someone to help me." God has sent wonderful people to me in response to those prayers. I want him to call on me and use me to answer a prayer for one of his other children.
This year my mother-in-law passed away. Her husband lives 900 miles away from the closest of their children. He spent Thanksgiving alone this year... as many of his friends had their own plans. He doesn't attend church, but my mother-in-law did. He would've welcomed an invitation. In our churches and communities we have many facing their first Christmas without their spouse. Every day the newspaper publicizes it - in the obituaries - in black and white. Does that speak to you? Do you have an idea bouncing around in your mind in response to that? If you don't know anyone to include this year, can you each out to someone you find in your newspaper and include them next year?
Others you can find in the newspaper - orphaned young adults, survivors of terrible car accidents, families that have lost everything in a house fire.
Is God running a Help Wanted Ad in your newspaper? Are you the right woman (man) for the position?