I’ve been reading the biography of the woman who started up “God’s Golden Acre”, troche throughout this week while I was doing training at Oracle, and all that. For those who don’t know about it, God’s Golden Acre is an AIDS orphanage in South Africa, which originally started to house orphans from the civil war and then has since been a refuge from the AIDS epidemic.
It’s not possible to read those sort of stories without having an emotional reaction on some level at least, and this hit me pretty hard – and given that we’ve already established that I’m a cryer, I spent a couple of lunchtimes last week wiping moisture from my cheeks. And something deep within me want to do something. I don’t know what. What skills could an IT worker from Melbourne have to offer to help children who have lost parents to AIDS. Is just sending money enough?
So I’m walking to my train, in at Flinders Street (Melbourne’s central station for the uninitiated) and had someone from “Save The Children” approach me – as you often do in that area. But for some reason I stopped and it didn’t take long for my softened heart to give out my credit card and before you know it I’m signed up to give away 39 bucks a month. Which given that I just recently got a payrise for significantly more than that, won’t actually mean that I notice.
And I guess that’s my point. As far as I can see, considering that I’m ultimately doing fairly well financially, giving a small bit of money doesn’t seem to really be doing anything about it. It’s just enough to dissuade my western guilt, and leaves me feeling like there must be more to this. And there are tonnes of causes that all make me feel like I need to do something, including the teenagers in our community, which I actually am doing something about. So how do you pick your battles. And am I putting the ministry towards teenagers, which is ultimately something that takes a bit of effort but doesn’t really cost me my lifestyle in front of working for AIDS orphans (or something similar) just because it’s easier.
I know that these are questions that aren’t ever going to be answered by my own head – and that it really depends on having some confidence that God has called me to be in the ministry I am in (which I do feel quite strongly) and trusting that he’ll let me know when that needs to change. But the feeling is that sometimes I’m not really that interested in going out of my way to do God’s stuff.