Yep! I know the time changes on March 8th – what’s the old saying, “Spring forward, fall back.” So, for you who are late sleepers, get over it! You’re gonna lose an hour of sleep. HA! Then again, I suspect that none of you really believe that I’m writing to weigh in on the good and bad of time change. . .
Instead, quite literally, I’m writing to encourage all who read that it truly is time for us to each spring forward in our lives – be people of purpose, intentional motion, accelerated action.
On Saturday evening, February 22, 2020, the little Village of Satartia and surrounding areas became an evacuation zone as the torrential rains of recent weeks caused a collapse of ground near Satartia large enough to rupture a major gas line. Like me, many offered to help in some way, but all non-essential personnel, and the preacher (Lol!) were told to stay away as others too were being removed from their homes.
Quite a number of folks even ended up in the hospital. It’s our makeup in the South. When crisis comes, we all jump in to help our neighbors – or at least offer. Still the fact remains, we don’t live every day in a state of crisis, like the gas rupture or impending flood water. What about the everyday? What need does our neighbor right next door or down the street have TODAY, on a no-crisis day?
As we step into the spring and summer, the days get longer, and are hopefully, prayerfully filled with less rain, wouldn’t it just be a good thing if we looked around and found something simple to do, something selfless that would make even a small difference in the life of someone around us?
My friend and fellow pastor, Scott Hanberry, in Hattiesburg, has been leading his people on a campaign called, “Who’s Your One?” – obviously, from a faith perspective encouraging his church family to identify an individual with whom they can personally share their faith. Many denominations, this time of year celebrate a Lenten season – a season of self-sacrifice in an effort to grow in personal spiritual depth. Regardless of the source of motivation, wouldn’t it be great if YOU set the tone in your circle of influence, and YOU were caught red-handed, doing something of worth for someone outside of your own family, for no reason, with no expectation of return, simply for the sake of knowing that the task needed to be done and in doing it, someone would be blessed? From Colossians 3:17 to Matthew 7:12, to Luke 6:33, the list could be extensive if we wanted to reference biblical principles for being neighborly.
The real question then comes down to ME! Am I satisfied with status-quo? I am really OK with my world, as long as all of MY things and MY people are OK? Am I so self-consumed that it doesn’t grieve me to see others in a place of struggle, to the point that I am unwilling to act to impact in some positive way? Obviously, as a man of faith, I would champion the cause of having every believer share their faith, like my brother Scott. However, even on a base level of human living, shouldn’t I be selfless enough that I am willing to carry out even one simple act of kindness towards someone in my community, all for the sake of being a decent human being?
I don’t know whether Spring has sprung or not ... depends on which ole groundhog you ask. My papa always told me that if it thunders in February, we’ll see frost in April, so, I’m not so sure about the upcoming weather. Nonetheless, with the time change, like it or not, you will have a little more daylight on the sunny days. What would Yazoo County look like if over the next 40 days or so, even one-thousand people committed to one selfless act that would make a difference in someone else’s life? Not because of a flood crisis, a gas leak, or any other catastrophic situation, but what if we could “each one reach one,” exacting kindness towards another citizen of the county, “just because”? For those of us who are people of faith, surely that would speak well that our faith is genuine and just might influence someone who claims no god, no faith, no spiritual context. For those who do not gather regularly with a body of faith, even they would be seen in a little bit brighter light if they did something nice for a neighbor or friend in their own circle of influence. It’s a good time, Yazoo, for us to Spring Forward, putting our best foot forward to be people who make a difference, just because we can. . .
Because I Do Believe, Brother Royce I Cor. 9:16