Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Turn Away

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love.

Have you ever heard the annual Spring warnings about the rivers and streams that come down from the mountain?

Every Spring, the local authorities here in Salt Lake County remind us that as the snowpack melts, the water filters into creeks and rivers that are normally low during the winter. These waterways often border or run through our parks where families are prone to pack a picnic lunch and go play as soon as the sun comes out for good.

To a child, these rivers look fun and adventurous. But the water is frigid and the current is swift. Hefty adults have even had their feet knocked out from under them as soon as the step into the icy water. You can imagine a small child wouldn’t stand a chance.

Now, let’s pretend that you’re somewhere downstream, and you see someone being carried away by the current. What would you do?

Would you walk away, ignoring the cries for help? Would you pretend you didn’t hear the thrashing in the water? Would you jump in or call for professional help?

If I know you, you would do one of the latter two things. You would either call for help or you would do all you could to save them yourself. That’s just the kind of person you are.

You care.

So, for today’s service challenge, I’d like to ask you to think of the people you’re with every day. Your family, your coworkers, fellow students and friends. Do you know any of them who are in danger of falling into a river? Do you know someone who is drowning in extra work, health issues, financial problems or maybe addiction?

Identify them, and then do your best to avoid turning away.

Sometimes we don’t want to get involved. That’s a very natural, human feeling. It may be part of the survival of the fittest idea, or it may be that we’re trained that it’s every man and woman for themselves. Sometimes, we even rationalize our unwillingness to get involved by saying to ourselves, “They did it to themselves. They got into the water, they can get themselves out.”

When you’re tempted to think that, consider this –

What if it was your mother or your brother or daughter. Even if they willingly (though innocently) stepped into the swift current, wouldn’t you help them then? What if you weren’t there and couldn’t help? Wouldn’t you want someone else to step into the water or get professional help for them?

I think you would.

So, today, identify someone who is in over their head and be willing to help them. Whether that means you step in and help on your own, or get professionals to help them, just do it.

I know you can, and I know you will, because – well – that’s just the kind of caring person you are.

Thank you for coming to my blog and reading today. Thank you for being willing to read, act and pass on today’s challenge. I really like that about you.

Always remember, Service is the Action Form of Love.


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