The past few days I’ve been questioning myself as to whether or not I am making a difference. It’s an inside question, not intended to seek out pats on the back or words of affirmation. It’s just an honest question, “Is what I’m doing making difference in someone’s life?”
This questioning came about after listening to a segment on NPR titled, “Treating Kids’ Cancer With Science And A Pocket Full of Hope” … where it is stated of Dr. Jim Olsen … “he’s made it his life’s goal to change things.” The article is powerful and riveting with a seated challenge to be a person of difference … that is making a difference in people’s life.
The question I asked myself was “Am I making a difference?” The answer I gave myself was, “Make a difference where you are and you will make a difference everywhere.” I’ve been asking people around me if they believe what they are doing in life is making a difference in someone’s life? I’ve found some like me question if they are making a difference.
This morning Ken, an older friend, told the following story of which I defined, “Now That Is Making A Difference.” By the way I had not asked him the question … he just asked if I had about 3 minutes to hear a story. I’m glad I stopped to listen.
Ken said he had taught Middle School Sunday School for over 20 years because at first no one wanted to teach it, so he did. He then said it became a passion for his life, and many times he only had one student attending. In this time the church he attended hired a youth minister and Ken was anxious to help him build up the ministry. They had been given the name of a single mother who had two kids. They were told that the daughter was mildly retarded. After meeting with the mother, they met the woman’s son and daughter. The son was a lively soul and was nicked named “Animal” in the youth group. However the girl, in Ken’s words was a bit rotund and not social who stood in the corner saying nothing, even when talked to. The two youth began attending. Ken stated that at first no one connected with the girl. She stood in the back of the group by the wall. He figured she was learning nothing, but he kept trying to talk to her and encourage her. He discovered that she was not mildly retarded as some has suspected but shy and bashful. In Ken’s words, “that girl went through every training we had for youth from 7th grade to a senior and when she graduated from High School she applied with Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and was given a scholarship. She graduated and went to work for a ministry working with unwed mothers from the streets of Chicago. Ken said, “She’s still working to make a difference in people’s lives.”
I was stunned, shocked and encouraged by the story and thought, “Now that is making a difference!” I shared with Ken my questioning about making a difference. He simply said, “You are one person at a time.” I pray so.
“Make a difference where you are, and you will make a difference everywhere.”