ReNew: Uncomfortable Kindness

We often rarely "see" the whole picture from our vantage point.

The renewing of one’s spirit is not a purely ethereal exercise. It requires a commitment to physically move out of your comfort zone. If money, time or education wasn’t a concern, would your life look different? Do you feel stuck in your patterns? Have you ever made an excuse for not changing your life?

The truth is the majority of people have answered “yes” to some or all of these questions. We are internally wired to long for something greater than ourselves. A wiring which stirs us, creating discomfort and forcing us to make a conscious decision to act or ignore. The ramifications of which carry consequences regarding our own satisfaction. Note I used the word satisfaction versus happiness. Satisfaction is not the absence of struggle, it’s a realization the larger plan for our lives calls for us to serve, more than be served.

I’m currently hanging out at MorningStar mission in Joliet as the volunteer coordinator. It’s a hectic role outside of my comfort zone. Everyday I have overwhelming moments wondering what project needs my attention next. However, everyday also contains ReNew moments (formally known as “God sightings”). This past Wednesday it involved a homeless woman excited about the free clothing being given to her and her recognition of God’s faithfulness. Yesterday, it was God in the eyes of college students eager to do missional service as part of the their learning experience. Today, it was the military men and women who stopped by our information booth wanting to give back to the community as well as the dinner volunteer who cried when I told her serving dinner to the homeless is important because it reminds the poor they are not forgotten. Kindness, giving, generosity changes the world but it will always first change us.

Kindness to others is a reminder of God’s love for us His creation. It’s the reason it feels so good to give unconditionally. In giving, we are acting in the image of the one who made us. Our hard wiring is further proof of our real role as His assistants. It’s a role we can only fulfill fully when we realize the depth of His kindness and love for us. We give unconditionally because God gave first. He created it all. He set it all in motion. He intervened in person when it seemed to have veered of course. And He left behind a guide to help everyone who chooses to respond to Him - a simple statement and a lifetime journey.

ReNew is about fostering this understanding through authentic and meaningful relationships whereby we serve one another and those who need help on the journey. If you’ve been undone by this life (either by your own decisions or someone else's) or have had it with “organized” religion or you’re wondering if there's more to this life than money and Facebook, then maybe you ought to come and check out Renew on Thursday, September 15th at 6pm. I’m buying dinner so don’t be late!