Tag Archives: Purpose Driven Life

WEEKLY JOURNAL: Service

You Can Make A Difference

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”

-John Wesley

Within one week’s time and during various and unrelated occasions, the message of serving others has been brought to my attention.

The first came last Monday while visiting with my sister about a conference she recently attended. The keynote speaker, a former United States President, reminded his audience that making a difference in only one life is significant, and our service doesn’t have to be monumental either. In other words, we don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth, volunteer endless hours of our time or start a non-profit organization in order to make a positive difference in a life.

A few days later while watching the evening news, an anchor was asked what he was giving up for Lent. He responded by saying that he wasn’t giving up anything. Rather, his focus would be on others, as his goal was to pay one kind act to a stranger, everyday.

Finally, upon waking up this morning I randomly picked up Rick Warren’s new and expanded version of A Purpose Driven Life. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, rather, I simply felt called to grab it off of my night stand. Sure enough, the first page I turned to was the chapter on serving others.

I wish I could say that the series of service reminders was pure coincidence, but I’d be naive to ignore this important message.

One of the lines from a Purpose Driven Life suggests that we miss service opportunities because we lack spontaneity. Shamefully, I fall into this category, as my day and time is structured in a way that if something interrupts my specific plan and timeline, I get frustrated. With this attitude, I am certainly not creating any space to serve or help others. In addition, I tend to think in terms of grandiose proportions, and if I can’t donate hours of my time or feel that I am contributing to the masses, then my time is not worth it and I am not making a difference. Ridiculous? Yes!  As we all know, this could not be further from the truth.

Opportunities to make a difference for others comes in a variety of ways, and each of us are called to serve how we can. Sometimes it’s a smile, while other times it’s a meal, our money, our time or something as simple yet personal as making eye contact and saying hello to a total stranger. Service comes in all shapes and sizes, and what’s important is that we do not diminish our ability to impact a life.

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Point To Ponder:
What opportunities do you have each day to impact a life?

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Action Item:
Find one way, everyday, to make a difference in a life.

by Neissa

Neissa Springmann

Love is Spelled T-I-M-E

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When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

-Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Life

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

For as long as I can remember I have been wired to work. From a job, to exercise, to filling my plate with busy to-do’s, achievement in the form of action has been my mode of fulfillment and success. Eight years ago and upon marrying, my husband hinted that he’d appreciate me stopping to spend time with him before crashing in bed. I would honor his wishes out of necessity for our relationship, but I still felt the itch to move and do. In addition, when I wasn’t “achieving” or sleeping, I would feel a sense of guilt.

Now, eight years later, some wisdom has set in and time has become my primary love language. While I cherish the time I specifically set aside for my husband and son, I still struggle with the ridiculous guilt from not working or doing. In addition, and because I have figured out my busy predisposition, I have put in place rules and boundaries around this time. For example, I try to avoid my phone and computer because the second I look at either I am doomed. One missed call, text message or email can immediately change my focus from “T-I-M-E” back to achievement mode.

Since having put in place my self-imposed “time laws,” I still experience guilt (which is a waste of time and I must get over it), but my relationship with my husband is the most healthy it has ever been. Please know that I am not boasting as this is step one of a million-mile journey, rather I’m indicating that I am a work in progress and understanding the true value of time.

Now, more than ever, our lives are infiltrated with seemingly innocent distractions. From 515 television channels, never-ending commitments, and the world-wide web, if we aren’t careful our time is consumed with these things and not with what is most important. Side note — isn’t it ironic that the internet is called the “web?”

In conclusion, I leave you with a monumental excerpt from The Purpose Driven Life and wish you a week and holiday season filled with T-I-M-E.

I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity, and I have never heard anyone say, “Bring me my diplomas! I want to look at them one more time. Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.”  When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects. What we want around us is people – people we love and have relationships with. In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about.

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Point To Ponder:
Are your relationships your first priority?

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Action Item:
Determine who you need to start spending more time with and make the necessary sacrifices to fulfill this relationship.

 

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