Doing the right thing is not always my favorite thing. It usually is!
I get a lot of joy out of being available when someone needs to share or when using my resources of time or money to help in ways that make our community better.
When an extra $20 bill came out of the bank ATM, I did not want to do the right thing. A number of very convincing rationalizations of keeping the money went through my head. While sharing this with a friend he mentioned the last thing he wanted to do when he saw a car stalled in an intersection was stop and help push them out. Both of us begrudgingly (an understatement in my case) followed our conscience and not expedience.
A new congregation began volunteering with Family Promise within the last year. Their first two weeks in the rotation were not particularly fun. Just like our own families, families going through a housing crisis have good weeks and weeks they are not so pleasant to be around. I was worried this congregation might not host any longer. Selfishly, I was concerned because we can always use more volunteers. But less selfishly, I was sad that they wouldn’t have the life-giving and life-changing experience participating in Family Promise can be. We had hard conversations. They stuck around. And goodness, their next hosting week was a fun one! It was full of kids laughing, meals being shared, and both hosts and guests feeling valued and celebrated. This congregation was bummed it was going to be three months until they got the chance to host again!
We are all the experts in our own lives. When we take an honest look we know what is healthy and unhealthy, where a boundary needs to be set or a boundary is too high. But are there parts of your life that are not as fun as you had hoped. Where you know it is the right and good thing to do but you just don’t want to? I encourage you to stick the course, even begrudgingly, even if you need to complain about it a bit. In my faith tradition there is a verse that might be an encouragement to you: “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all…” Galatians 6:9-10
Shannon Fisher is Executive Director of Family Promise of Juneau. “Living Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders.