Note from Joyce: I have been MIA for the past month while working on my next class in college. Thankfully I am done. Below you can read some of the fruits of my labor from class. I can’t wait for you to share your story. Part 4 of David’s story will be ready soon.
out of the Box
As I listen to the song My Own Little World by Matthew West, it is a stark reminder of how I take the basics of life for granted.
In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world, population: me
The song inspired my thinking about what I can do to get out of my own little world, my box. How can I make time to help others with all the things going on in my life? I am a college student, a wife, a mother, and the chief operating officer of our home. As well as, I am currently seeking a new job, a writer, blogger and a Sunday school teacher. Yet the words of the song always sting my heart, because when I give out of my box I feel that I am truly living.
Even though I do not have all the material things that I would like, I have more than most people around the world. My eyes were opened outside of my box as I worked at a job in downtown Albany, Ga. The number of people walking to the drug store or work amazed me. On the side of town where I live everyone drives a car, because it is too far to walk most places. Many people downtown are walking because they cannot afford a car.
One day a haphazardly dressed man who wore a pungent odor came into our office with his rheumatoid arthritis prescription, and really struck my heart. He did not have the money to fill the prescription. You could see the knots of agony that had already damaged his hands, but he didn’t come asking for money. He humbly asked to borrow some paper towels and window cleaner to clean the windows of some store fronts nearby. He looked for ways to earn the money for his medicine. I admired his approach to his problem. When he brought the cleaner back to me, I gave him my ten dollars I had for lunch money. It felt good to help someone in such a small way, but I know it is huge to have medicine for pain. I have always had money for medicine and medical care. I realized how incredibly blessed I am to have something so basic, and so important to my comfort.
This thought of helping others actually has been nagging at me for some time. Due to my strong faith in God I believe it is my way of giving back to others the way people have given to me. As the song asks, “What if there is a greater purpose?” makes me realize that my helping others is not about me, but about them. When I take the focus off of my needs, my family, my life, I enter into someone else’s world and can make a greater impact than if I just stay “safe” in my own little box. The ultimate goal is to give not to receive. However, every time I give of myself to others I find I receive so much more in return.
What bothers me about my box is it’s all about “me”! In America most of us focus filling our box for us, and do not think twice about others. We consume our thoughts about what to buy next and what great trip we can take. I am guilty of this crime by planning the ways to decorate my home and what car I want next. Rarely do we look for ways to help those that are hurting or just need a few dollars for medicine. We live shallow lives if it all about “us.”
It is hard to tame the monster inside each of us that desires for more. So, what do you do? What do you fill the box of your life with and why? Is being “safe” in your box and filling your box all there is to this life? At the end of my life I hope my box is empty from all that I gave. It does not matter how big or small, from the heart or from the wallet, seek to give out of your box in some way each day. For me life is more exciting when you give from the heart!
Leave a comment below how you have shared out of your box recently or in the past that brought that joy of giving glow to your face. I can’t wait to hear your story!