In the past couple years I have been seized by a burning desire to do more with my life than amass a bunch of stuff and live comfortably numb in my first world McMansion. I want to make my life count for something. I want people to say at my funeral that I was a force to be reckoned with and that I squeezed as much good into my earthly years as I possibly could have. I want to give one more hour of my time, one more dollar of my paycheck. I want to give my life away.
It breaks my heart to think of all the little kids in the world who don’t have homes, who are living in the streets begging for food. I think about the kids who have a home, but a dysfunctional, abusive one where they are belittled and beat up. I even think about the homeless dogs, sitting in shelters waiting for a certain death. All the homeless, helpless, pitiful creatures of the world weigh on me so heavily that it fills me with a sense of urgency. I have to do something more, something better. There’s not enough money to pay my bills and give to all the good causes I want to support.
So what do I do? I do what I can. I adopt one more dog. I sponsor one child. I give monthly to three different anti- sex trafficking charities. One of them only gets $10. It is enough? I’m not sure. If I’m going to be held accountable for every dollar that passes through my hands, I’m sure I can’t justify every purchase I’ve ever made at Starbucks. As long as there are hungry children in the world, I probably can’t justify any of them.
But I have to start somewhere. I can pray that my heart is continually broken by the things that break the heart of God. I can keep reading stories of people who are making a difference and keep myself inspired to give. I can keep the pictures of poverty in front of me so that I don’t forget about the rest of the world’s problems. I can find a local charity to donate my time. It doesn’t have to be about the Third World. It can be about the child of meth addict parents who’s living in a shelter just down the road from me.
Whatever I choose, and you choose, we have to do something. Yoda says in the Stars Wars movies,”There is no try. There is only do or do not.” So I will do. I will keep giving, advocating, volunteering. Whether I die in my thirties or my nineties, I want it said about me that I did something. I want to pack as much good into this life as I possibly can before it ends.