Posts Tagged ‘Opportunity’

According to google, the word opportunity is defined as “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something“. Last week, I had an incredible opportunity to share about the opportunities I’ve received and open up opportunities for others to join in order to create opportunities for still others to have an easier time of transition and ultimately a better life. …I know, I know, that’s all jumbled and confusing and I used the word ‘opportunity‘ too many times, but it’s true! Let me break it down for you…
Photo Credit: Commissioner Mike Pipe
Last week I had the chance to share about Building Hope (the mentoring program I helped create) at a Mokita Dialogue on prison systems. The Mokita Dialogue was an event put on by the Jana Marie Foundation and hosted by New Leaf Initiative. They have discussions every month about important topics that need to be talked about, but that people don’t really like to talk about. For example, mental health, homelessness, prison system… not easy topics, but necessary.
So at the prison system talk, about 50 people gathered in room to acknowledge issues, and dream of change. The exciting thing is we didn’t just dream and be on our way, we then got to share tangible ideas, inspire those in the room with the capacity to take action, and invite people into what’s already being done. Several people came to chat with me after to learn more about what it looks like to be a mentor. I don’t know if they will sign up, but I hope and pray they will. It doesn’t take much to believe in someone and help them to learn they are valuable just because they are alive. To show that a prison system doesn’t define our humanity. To sip coffee in the sunshine while exchanging work stories. It doesn’t take much to spend an hour a week with someone, but to that someone it just might mean the world.
If you’re a local and interested in becoming a mentor, please reach out to me, or follow this link to apply!

This week I have been really thinking about what I do for a living. I love people. I serve people. I give rides, help clean, supply food, hang out, fight for, coordinate events, and pray for people. When working in outreach I think it can sometimes get overwhelming as my job isn’t 9-5. Sometimes I work those hours, other times I have meetings at night, have to give someone a ride in the middle of my office hours, host movie nights, make phone calls from a homeless shelter. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when I’m “on duty” and when I’m “off duty”. 

As I was pondering this a thought it hit me, should I ever be off duty from outreach? From loving and serving those around me? Who am I reaching out to? I have ‘clients’ I guess you could say who call me when they need help. I have homeless friends I find on the street and invite down to the shelter for a meal. I have elderly I call and chat with so they know they are not alone in the world. I have people in jail who I write letters to. But that’s not all I have.

I have a family I live with (and one that I don’t) and love them with all of my heart and I want to love and serve them well too. I should not be ‘off duty’ when I come home. I have friends who need to be heard just as much as those elderly I call. My coworkers have many things they are a part of that I believe in and want to excel. My international friends are not behind bars, but would probably love mail almost as much a my friends in jail. When I read the verses below I just don’t see them being sectioned off to one group of people. It’s a lifestyle…

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” – Ephesians 6:7

“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13

“…do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:13 NIV

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”                 – Mark 10:45

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 4:4 

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10 

So I guess if I were to challenge myself or you I would say this, live every moment the best you can. Make the most of the opportunities put in front of you. Love well – if you’re at work, at home, or at the grocery store. The people around you notice. Share Jesus love through your words, your smile, a hug, a listening ear, your strong muscles moving boxes, sharing a meal, cleaning….just share Jesus.