Do you know the difference between involvement and commitment? Recently, I read an interesting definition by Jim Peak, the Director of the government's Intelink Management Office:
"Just think of a ham and egg sandwich. In that combination the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed."
For many years, I've been involved with religion. I've attended church regularly, participated in church events, and every once in awhile, invested some time in a worthy cause. But mostly, I've just lived my life in the same way I always have: me and mine first, everybody else if there's time.
Recently, though, I've decided to become committed. Now that I've passed 50 (51 actually), I've finally realized that there is more to life than just taking care of me. I've reached a point where I've decided to dedicate myself to doing what Jesus Christ commands us to do: take care of others. And believe me, there are plenty of people out there who need help.
For instance, I used to ask people how they were and not really listen to their answer. Now, I try to really focus on what they have to say, and offer help if I can.
I used to get angry with the Shriners who mess up traffic at intersections with their little hats and their buckets, collecting money to help children. Don't they know we're all in a hurry? Now, I never pass one without throwing in a dollar. God has given me so much, and I'll never miss a buck. It's the cost of a lottery ticket (which I'll never win anyway) but it can make a difference in the life of a child.
I also used to get mad at people who got in my way in stores, or getting off an elevator, or who held up the line at the checkout. Now I try to give way whenever I can, and not get too angry with the 15-item person in the 10-item line. After all, next time it could be me.
What changed my mind after all these years? It's simple. I finally came across a church whose members are committed Christians who actually practice what they preach. McDonough Covenant Fellowship in McDonough, Georgia is full of people who really care about others, both within and outside of the congregation. Pastor Eddie Mason has become my teacher, my mentor, and my friend and he's leading me into a life I never knew existed.
From now on, faithful readers, you'll notice a little different edge to A Slice of Life. Less cynicism, less self-centeredness, and more, much more, about other people. And how you, too, can learn to care about them, and find ways to leave a legacy you'll be proud of.
Stick with me. You'll be glad you did!
Copyright © 2006, Gary L. Lefmann.
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