It was a typical evening, just a few days ago. We were all tired after what had been a long and busy day, each one of us dealing with their day and their work the best way they could. I sat on the couch watching the boys play, thinking – I’ll catch my breath before getting their dinners out.
And then my 2 yr old came up to me – I’m hungry Mummy! For some reason he just really amused me, with his big eyes, chubby cheeks and little fists, demanding his dinner. I felt an urge to give him a big hug so I picked him up, pinched his cheeks and squeezed him tight. I started giving him kisses too.
To give you a little background – The boys both absolutely love being kissed. “You forgot to give us kisses”! Is what we are sure to hear if we dare put them in bed without their usual nightly dose:). My 2yr old especially will even come up to me randomly from time to time to ask for kisses. So when I started giving him kisses, I was not surprised at the way he responded, giggling and squirming. After a few moments had gone by however, he looked up at me and said very seriously, all giggles gone – “I don’t want kisses Mummy, I want food!”. I was taken aback for a moment. I then laughed and very quickly got up to get them their dinner. I got my little guy’s message, loud and clear.
Two things immediately came to mind after this happened. One was our last post/discussion on JollyNotes, “Good Morning My Neighbors”. The other was a saying I had heard, also not very long before that, which went something like “Selflessly invest in the lives of others, that’s what Christ’s followers do.” (paraphrasing).
I thought to myself – Yes – It is wonderful, essential in fact, to regularly invest selflessly in the lives of others. You could say we talked about the investing “when” here last week. What happened that evening reminded me about the importance of always considering the investing “what” as well though.
I want to invest in other people’s lives, but I always want to invest the right thing.
I don’t want to…
Invest lots of prayers when what someone needs is pretty obvious, and I am in the position to fill that need
Invest money when all they need is my time or/and attention
Invest words of wisdom when all they need is a hug
Invest a pat on the back when what they need is a loving correction
Invest advice when what they really need is a listening ear
And I don’t want to invest hugs and kisses when what they really need is food! lol
I’m sure you get the picture. Hugs and kisses and many other things are wonderful, but they are not always the right things to invest in a particular person at a particular time. Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious how best we can invest in each others’ lives. But sometimes it is not as obvious, and this is another example of how constantly relying on God’s guidance can help us consistently make the right impact on the lives of those around us. And as we invest in other people’s lives, others will certainly invest in our lives too.
“The LORD will guide you always…..” – Isaiah 58:11a
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” ~ James 2:15-17 (NIV)
May we all constantly invest positively in each others’ lives – the right thing, at the right time, and always with God’s help. Amen.