I would be startled if someone actually said he didn’t want to make a difference. If confronted with the question, “Would you like to make a difference?” I believe each of us would quickly answer in the affirmative, but we might be a little more hesitant to support that answer with action. It’s a fair hesitation. We can’t all be David Livingstones, Neil Armstrongs, Jane Goodalls, or Mother Theresas. We haven’t even had 50 presidents yet! So how many people can actually have an impact on our country, let alone the world?
I have been asking myself that very question. I do like stories of heroism and applaud the spirit of Captain America whenever it appears. But I wonder what kind of difference a simple homemaker can make. You might be asking yourself the very same question. Here is what I came up with:
1. Identify a cause that is close to your heart and what you would like to do about it (don’t hesitate to think big). I have chosen pro-life advocacy as my cause. I want to educate people on the horror and injustice of abortion in order to eradicate it from our society.
2. Start small. While you are thinking big as you set goals, take it one step at a time. Perhaps you need to build up your courage in order to talk to people or you aren’t sure you can answer questions yet. Educate yourself so that you know the ins and outs of your cause and then write about it. Writing helps you clarify your thoughts and it is a more neutral way of spreading the word and filtering emotional responses.
3. Don’t forget to include God. Remember that God likes to help shepherd boys slay giants. Talk to Him about your cause on a daily basis. Ask Him for courage, inspiration, and resources. Commit to praying for your concerns every day and record the changes that come from your prayers, whether in your heart or in your surroundings. For example, find the location of an abortion clinic near you and pray every day for its closure. See what happens.
4. Amp it up. As you write and pray and realize that other people share your cause you may be ready to do something a little more hands-on. Perhaps you want to organize something that would raise awareness, bolster support, and bring in resources to aid your cause. One possibility for pro-life advocates would be to throw a baby shower for a local crisis pregnancy center.
5. Don’t hold back. Eventually you will be ready to go all in and you might want to become a more visible, vocal supporter of your cause. This might include sign-waving, one-on-one conversations with people, or volunteering on a weekly or monthly basis.
6. Don’t give up. It’s easy to be strong in the beginning as you ride the adrenaline rush, but every hero encounters setbacks and letdowns. Expect them, be prepared for them, but never let them have the upper hand as you stand up for your cause. True heroism comes when you refuse to fail or give up in the hardest moment. Jesus is our best example of that. He came to save us and when flesh met the cross He refused to come down.
Go ahead and try the six steps. I would love to hear about your experiences; if you throw that baby shower or pray against the abortion clinic I want to know about it! I would be encouraged by hearing how you are going to make a difference from your small corner of the world.