Leonardo da Vinci once said, I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough, we must do. His words make a lot of sense. When the time is right, we must take action. Doing so is more important than understanding while doing nothing.
With this in mind, how are we supposed to respond to atrocious problems that exist both around the world and across the street? How do we respond to the thousands of people still living in tent cities in Port au Prince, Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake? What can we do about the problem of modern day slavery and sex trafficking in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America? How can we end hunger in the United States? These problems are daunting and seem impossible.
I’m convinced that the way to make a difference in this world is by starting. It’s like the old saying: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
That’s why I’m so proud of the people of Celebration Church. At the beginning of every school year, we hear from teachers and school administrators across the city and region that 1,000’s of kids come to school each year with no school supplies and with no hope of their parents purchasing them school supplies. So, over the past several weeks, we’ve been able to collect almost 1,000 backpacks worth of school supplies (from the lists given to us by local schools) and distribute them to children in need. It’s been amazing to watch people, many who didn’t even go to our church, want to be involved in making a difference.
One man from our congregation felt like he wanted to do more to make a difference, so he agreed to be responsible for filling 40 backpacks. At an average cost of $40-$50 each, that was a $1600 – $2000 commitment. However, as he shared with people at his company about the project, almost all of the 40 backpacks were filled by others in his company who wanted to join Celebration Church in making a difference in the lives of local students.
Over the last few days, our office has received lots of thank you notes from students upon their receiving of the backpacks. Here’s what one student wrote to us on her thank you note:
It’s time for us all to make a difference in the world, so do something today to start. Invite someone to church. Volunteer at a local shelter or food bank. Write a letter to encourage someone in need. Tell someone that you love him or her. Don’t worry that you might fail. Start. Try. Make a difference.