I experienced something of an unusual weekend this past several days. You see, I donated hours of time tying flies for Casting for Recovery, a non-profit that specializes in helping breast cancer survivors learn to fly fish in an effort to rebuilt their muscles and to take their minds off the ordeals that most of the have been through as breast cancer survivors. The other organization we worked for is Project Healing Waters, focused on helping returning veterans to make the transition back to civilian life. Both of these groups are intent on helping people through the sport of fly fishing and although Janet and I have attended fund-raisers and silent auctions in the past, this is the first time that I have actually donated time to these causes.
And that’s where the message is this evening. Because, especially when I was very busy in the corporate world, most of our giving was done through financial support of various charities and causes. I guess I figured that it was easier to give funds than it was to take time out of the day to donate time. But as my workload has been reduced, I have found myself more engaged by giving time in the areas that I have “talent.”
Janet has always been good with sharing her time. In fact, she currently is responsible for putting together the Sunday school crafts for the children’s programs in a church we help out at. She derives real enjoyment from the tasks that she does each week. But generally, I have not shared her love of providing time and talent – I was brought up to believe that money was far more effective in helping charities.
I have gradually come to a different way of thinking. While financial aid is certainly important, there is no immersion in the process when you don’t donate time to the causes that you choose to support. When you have a competency or spiritual gift in a certain area, and decide to exercise it, it can be very fulfilling and work to the benefit of everyone involved.
While I have come to believe this, the practical application has lagged behind a little… but yesterday just crystallized in my mind the importance of getting involved – not just with financial support, but to get in the game and make a difference. In reality, I couldn’t believe how fulfilled I was. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of the folks I was working with and our efforts have been acknowledged in many ways – from truly grateful organizations.
In fact, I enjoyed the time so much that I have suggested a monthly get together for the purpose of keeping the fellowship alive while supporting great causes as well. The Scripture has more than 2000 verses on giving – most of them about money and stewardship. Tonight’s verse is from 2 Corinthians 8:14, “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality…” These words were written by Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians. On the surface, it seems to be a verse about financial aid, but Paul is clear in different areas of his writings that all kinds of gifts are important to the body of Christ.
My encouragement this evening is that the giving of time and talent, as well as treasure, is important to God’s mission for us in the world. My prayer is that you will consider where you may add value, in an area where you have talent, so that you can help those in need while being spiritually fed yourself. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…