Is there ever a time when we are involved in something that doesn't produce some kind of benefit in our lives? That is probably not a fair question.
No matter what our motivation, we are called to be involved. In something. Something that is beyond our own personal needs, desires and wants.
Something that is going to benefit someone else or "someones" else.
Ironically enough, when I am involved, I benefit the most. It helps me emotionally, it helps me spiritually, and it helps me relationally.
No one likes to be around someone who is selfish.
Remember the Titanic?
When the ship struck the iceberg, an ocean liner named the Californian was less than 10 miles away, and could have provided almost immediate rescue assistance. The Titanic sent distress signals via wireless radio, but the Californian's operator had already gone to bed; the signals weren't heard.
The Titanic also launched emergency flares. Crew members of the Californian observed the fireworks in the distance and suspected something was wrong, but when they notified their captain he shrugged them off. He didn't even bother to wake up the wireless operator to look further into the matter. Instead, the captain and crew of the Californian decided to do nothing--and they missed the opportunity to avert the greatest disaster at sea in history.
There are distress signals being sent all around us, and sometimes we ignore them as well: a daughter who doesn't eat; a son whose speech is suspiciously slurred; a friend who withdraws from our fellowship as he or she struggles with marital problems. Off in the distance we may HEAR their cries for help, but all too often we fail to LISTEN.
Now the obvious need are those who are evacuees as a result of the hurricane.
Following Jesus means getting involved in the lives of others. John challenges us...
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18)
The captain and crew of the Californian could have argued that they had the sense to stop for the night rather than sail full speed into dangerous waters. They could have argued that the Titanic's leadership was responsible for this disaster, and could have even preached a hard-hitting sermon on the sin of arrogance. Technically, they would have been right. But it doesn't change the fact that they were the only hope of rescue for hundreds of people--and they chose not to listen.
This week, dare to love. Dare to listen. Dare to get involved