We’re Going on a Field Trip
Tonya P. Nichols – Meet The Need Ministries
Remember when you were in school? When you felt like there wasn’t much purpose in what you were doing? There was the routine of getting up at the same time every morning, eating the same cold cereal, finding the same seat on the bus, sitting in the same desk in each classroom, having lunch at the same table, knowing the bell is going to ring at the same time throughout the day, listening to the teachers teach the same subjects in the same order for days on end. Did you ever ask,“Why do I even need to need to know ___________? I will never use this in the real world.”
Did you look forward to those few days when you heard “We are going on a field trip next week!” Everyone went into a frenzy for simply the thought of something different to do. An uncontained buzz of excitement, high fives, and laughter fill the room. There was so much excitement that you couldn’t even hear yourself think. You even saw a little smile emerge on the teacher’s face for the frenzy she just caused. You didn’t get to linger in this moment for very long, as the teach called order back to the room. You thought, “Oh yeah, she hasn’t even told us where we are going” (although that didn’t really matter). She announced where you were going and began to explain the purpose behind the real life application of what you had been learning for weeks. You weren’t listening very much to what was being said as you have already begun “the field trip” in your mind.
Your attitude changed for the whole week in expectation of the field trip. You rushed home thrilled to tell your parents what was announced in school that day and to ask them to sign your permission slip. You had conversations with friends on who will be who’s “buddy” that day. You even began to think about what your mom might pack for lunch that day.
On the day of the field trip your entire routine is was thrown out the window and there was a carefreeness (I don’t think that is a word) about life, even if just for a day. Your day started the same with the alarm clock going off, but there was pep in your step. You didn’t eat the same breakfast; instead you opted for something warm. You didn’t sit on the same seat on the bus on the way to school, because you sat with who was going to be your “buddy” on the field trip. Instead of hearing the same bells ringing, you heard the same energizing buzz (all day long) that you heard when the teacher announced the field trip.
And here comes the thing you were never anticipated to happen . . . you learned WHY you were being taught ________ and HOW it is used in the real world. Minds are opened, lights come on, and purposes are found when you get out of the everyday routine.
A Fresh Wind
Do you need a field trip? We all do! Getting outside of your routine and going on a field trip in the “real world” will amazingly change your outlook on life. School isn’t the only place we get into a “rut”. Church and home are two other places to easily become internally focused. Why not opt out of “church as usual” one week and instead go as a small group to serve those less fortunate? Instead of watching TV or surfing the net, go do something for your neighborhood with your family.
I think you can see above how a better attitude, joy and excitement come when you do something out of the ordinary. But how can this help you find your purpose? God knows each of us before we were ever born . . .
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
He knows what we are going to do for Him, because all believers are called to be His hands and feet throughout the nations. Through relationship with Him and with others, He reveals the purpose we were created for.
Discovering your personality, learning your spiritual gifts, becoming aware of your abilities, connecting your passions, and reflecting on your experiences in life are all ways to find your purpose and how God uniquely designed you. But the real confirmation comes when you actually start serving others in your strengths.
Put Your Faith into Action
There are hundreds of ideas of ways to serve others. Like the woman at the well (John 4:1-26), Jesus served as a lifestyle by meeting people right where they were, not planning big events. You don’t have to plan a big event either. Just start serving (regularly, throughout the year – not just during the holidays).
Here are a few ideas to get you started . . .
· Serve a meal at a homeless shelter
· Read a book at a school
· Visit the elderly in a nursing home
· Do crafts at an after school program
· Deliver baked goods to a rescue station
· Give clothes to a family in need
· Take magazines for those in the hospital
· Play outside with a child of a single mom
· Take a family a meal – just because
· Volunteer at a community event
· Invite a friend, neighbor, coworker to church
· Give a bible to a someone that doesn’t have one
· Plant flowers for a neighbor or at a community agency
· Give a manicure to an elderly person and listen to their stories
· Tutor a child after school
· Give travel size hygiene items to a homeless ministry
· Babysit for a single parent or foster family
· Wash a car for a family in need
· Sort items at a local food bank
· Help with office work at a community agency
· Give baby items to a local pregnancy center
· Send a thank you card to someone who has influenced you lately
· Mow the lawn of someone else
· Sing a song to someone in the hospital
Ask God . . . “Where do you want me to go today Lord?”
“Who can be impacted by Your love today through me?”
Then, GO. You will be amazed how God will increase your excitement and reveal your purpose not just for you but those you are serving as well.
How can I make a difference?
How can serving change your family, your church, even your city? The common factor in all of these circles of people is YOU! As you gain excitement because of something new, as you discover your purpose, as you begin to serve in your strengths, others will see this change. They will begin to serve too.
As more are serving, more needs will be met. As you (and others) serve and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, more people will be saved. The act of one can turn into the acts of a city very quickly. It is the fulfillment of the calling on each of our lives as believers of Jesus Christ (starting in your “Jerusalem” – your circle of influence).
“You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
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The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson