So, I hear tensions are high around our country. I’m sure you’re just as tired as I am of remembering to put your mask on when you get out of the car to head inside, and I’m sure checking the news has become one of your heaviest burdens to bear. As society continues to sputter along, wondering if its trying to survive a second wave, a hideous election season, or the cancel culture of everything and everyone, many of us have found ourselves in a large predicament labeled under one question: what do I do to help?
Speaking out against systemic racism has become a pretty normal staple to see on your timeline, and many of us find ourselves having to also defend the love of the policemen in our lives. Is making sure to share your status on social media enough? Is just being conscious of how people aren’t loving people really making a difference?
Many of us are looking for tangible answers to this question. I know many people have signed every petition they can find which aligns with this thought process, and I know of others who have found themselves donating to groups, campaigns, and even whole countries (we see it, Yemen). With Covid-19 keeping many people out of work for so long, however, giving money you don’t have isn’t really an option at this time. A petition may be looking for justice for one person, or a set of rules to change which could still take more time than we want to allow. Could it be possible there are even better ways to help?
Enter in my own personal example: Campus Life. As someone who grew up in a community which lacked diversity outside of the tribe and then myself, I found moving to Lansing to be a culture shock of epic proportions. After years of living here and finding out my place was going to be this city for a decent amount of time to come, it was then I finally looked into following a call to work with teens here in the city in a dramatic way. I gave up the opportunity for growth in the world of edible business and joined the Greater Lansing Youth for Christ team, since they were willing to have me.
I started a job working with Waverly High School, a high school which ranked in the top 1% of diversity in the state, and probably the top 10% of the nation. I learned about the basics of doing my job and had to find different ways to extend those teachings into my high school, where around every corner I walked around I met someone who had a different upbringing than the person I talked to before. I found myself learning about vernacular I probably would have never taken on myself. I learned about how important certain songs are to the next generation, the best way to communicate with social media (or not to), and most importantly the ways Jesus was loving on each of these students on a daily basis.
Too many times I see people looking for change in this current world and moving around like their handcuffed. They show up to the right events, speak to the right people, but either can’t take the next step of reaching out to people, or get tongue-tied when it comes to saying things out of love. Since I started my job, I have picked up the opportunity to work with another high school, continued to extend my role working with Eaton County Youth Center, and dreamed even bigger about how the impact we’re making can be extended to more students in more high schools.
It’s not cool to talk about change and be unable to find time to make the change yourself.
Maybe working with high school students isn’t what you’re looking for. You could fit into a different category, working with younger kids, even small children, or maybe your reach should be into the homeless community in your area, or working with retired veterans giving them better stability. The options are numerous, but a lack of awareness and participation to build better relationships and grow a proper footprint in history isn’t one of them.
I write about Campus Life because its what I love. Its the vehicle I have chosen to continue to grow and duplicate the Gospel to all the people I can run into. However, I know many people would find it difficult to take all of this in stride and then find out I’m asking you to quit your job and give up your original dreams to make sure people here they are loved. I’m definitely not against the notion, but I also know my choice isn’t for everyone. To see the world in a position of peril and to continue with your life because you won’t be affected is a terrible waste of your ability to be an influence on multiple people in different arenas. I encourage you to either join me or a group like mine in your area to reach the next generation, or to look into your current generation and create opportunity for better life groups, or even look into an older generation and give them hope that they are still loved and haven’t been forgotten.
It’s time to find a place in this world which makes a difference. If you’re looking for a spot, message me at email@example.com or text me at (906)203-7150 to find ways to get you involved somewhere, in whatever city you’re in. Let’s find a way to change this world, one person at a time.