Never Too Old…
“Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”- Anne Frank, Holocaust Victim
I must confess. I have had a bad attitude lately. Returning from a mission trip to the Philippines, Rev. Maria Bowers shared one experience with me. The local church in Manila gathered the children in the area once a month for a meal, to weigh the children, and to access their over-all health. In conversation with our District Superintendent, the local Bishop heard about how Stop Hunger Now might provide a relationship that would allow the children to have a meal daily instead of monthly. This could radically change their lives. The Bishop had not heard of Stop Hunger Now. And he was very interested.
Maria and our DS mentioned my work with Stop Hunger Now and that I might be part of connecting the two groups. Imagine my surprise and excitement that I might play a role in this wonderful ministry connection.
I made contact with Stop Hunger Now staff to learn who was the connection person for international efforts that should be involved in this conversation and then reached out for information. I scheduled a meeting with the DS and made the ride to the District Office to see what could be done.
And then my world crashed. As Herzen, our DS, and I talked, I learned I was “late to the party” as it were. He had already had several conversations with Stop Hunger Now staff, the Bishop in Manila and others and 2 in country packing events had already been set up, funding had been provided from our Bishop and Annual Conference and everything was already in place for this relationship to get up and running.
While this is all very exciting and a great thing to happen – I left that meeting crushed. I had hoped to be part of this process. I was hoping to participate in making things happen. I envisioned being a connecting part of this ministry.
And that is where my frustration began. I. Instead of just being grateful then children would eat, that the Bishop and Stop Hunger Now had made a connection and an ongoing relationship had been created; I was focused on how I had been left out of the process. And I let it create negative emotions in my spirit and in my attitude.
You know, sometimes we see a place of ministry, we dream of a new ministry effort, a new venture to share God with someone, some group, in some way – and then we find out someone has already to that, someone has “beat us to the punch,” someone else made the effort first and now we are left just standing there wondering what to do.
The thing we need to focus on is not how WE got “left out” but rather we need to rejoice that God used someone else to make it happen. That God’s love and resources are already being made available to those in need, that needs are being met quickly and effectively. We should shout, “Glory, Hallelujah!!” rather than words of disappointment and frustration.
I am ashamed and embarrassed at my own reaction in this situation. I responded with frustration and ego – not joy and thanksgiving. And I should know better. And, that leads me to remember what we seek to learn in the season of Lent.
We take time during Lent to focus on our lives and where we have not been all God desires for us. And not just to acknowledge our shortcomings, but also to look at them, repent of them, seek God’s forgiveness, and then take intentional steps to change our lives to do better in the future. We are to turn our lives around and deliberately move in a new direction. A direction God will provide so that we can grow into a better person and walk more closely with God in the future.
My attitude has improved. I have repented of my self-centered attitude and I am truly glad so many things have already taken place to feed those who are hungry. Maybe I have taken a step towards improving the world by changing my attitude and focus.
I want to encourage you to keep putting aside your coins, your cash, and your gifts as we fill our red rice boxes during the remainder of the Lenten Season. Every penny helps. Every quarter feeds a hungry child. Make plans to be present in worship Easter Sunday so that you can place your gift on the altar as a Thanksgiving Gift in response to God’s great gift of his Son through the Resurrection. And plan to join us the next Sunday evening as we package the meals we fund to that those who are hungry may be fed. And the obscenity of a world that lets persons go hungry when there is enough food for all to eat will be brought closer to an end.
May God bless you as you move through the last days of Lent this season.
Until the next time….
The Hog Father