We CAN: Realise We Can’t Do it All
I confess: it’s easy to get wrapped up in my own self-importance. (Perhaps my wife won’t find that a stunning confession!) Hurriedly zipping around from place to place, between work, phone calls, emails and coffees, it’s all too easy to focus on what I get done and think I’m pretty impressive. That’s why this challenge by Dave Andrews struck me so hard, and if I’m honest, kind of annoyed me. Though I rely on telling myself how much I’m achieving to justify how busy and tired I often am, Dave dispels the illusion that I—or any of us—can do anything truly great on our own.
“Big people can do big things. But we can only ever be big people in our own minds. In global terms, we will only ever really be little people. And, as little people, we can only do little things. Great things can happen. Not as a result of little people trying to do impossibly big things; but as a result of the cumulative effect of lots of little people doing lots of the little things we can do.” (Dave Andrews, Plan Be)
If you want a less philosophical illustration and prefer cute and funny YouTube animations, then you’ll get a kick out of this one:
The Bible has a bit to say about how not-so-big we really are, despite what we might think. James got a glimpse of this when he reflected, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). Personally, I don’t find it very encouraging to be compared to the fog that forms when I breathe into the cold morning air before vanishing after a second.
However, God isn’t trying to make us feel insignificant. Rather, He’s explaining to us that we don’t stand alone, but fit into a much bigger and more beautiful redemptive storyline that began well before we arrived and will continue long after we’ve gone. And when it comes to fighting the evil and injustice that sees children around the world trapped in poverty, reflected in often overwhelming statistics of the hungry, sick and dying, it helps me stop and rest to know that it’s not my battle to fight alone.
Jesus told us to come together as the Church primarily because he knew we would be far more effective in spreading the gospel, practicing hospitality and advocating for the poor and oppressed if we acted as one. At Compassion, we take this call seriously, and that’s why we only work with and through local churches and never on our own.
As Compassion nears our ambitious goal of supporting 100,000 children, babies and students as a ministry, I want you to realise that you are a vital part in that. Reaching 100,000 is a big number and an event bigger achievement, but it’s only made possible by all of us little people doing what we can for children living in poverty. So to each and every Compassion supporter—congratulations! Together, we’ve achieved something truly great.
Matt Darvas, CAN National Coordinator
Compassion’s Child Advocate Network (CAN) is a movement of people taking action to speak up for children living in poverty. Find out more at www.compassion.com.au/CAN