No. 289

Over the past several months I have rediscovered a very basic truth that has made a tremendous difference in my life. The truth is this, “You will never feel as good as you do after you have helped someone who really needs help.” Because of an experience I had several months ago I have been instrumental in organizing a ministry in our church that we call “The God Squad.” In fact, I will be so bold to say that every church and volunteer service organization needs an outreach like this and I believe you will agree after I tell you more about it.
You all may be way ahead of me on this, but here is how it came about for us. Every so often a member or some member of their family is either moving in or out of town and quite often I’ve been invited to help them. One day I was asked to help a lady and her daughter load a U-Haul truck as they were moving all the way up to Minot, North Dakota. When I arrived at her address, the packing and loading process was already underway as the family and a few other people were already there. The thing I still remember very vividly is that they had lots of furniture and some of it was very heavy.
After a couple of hours of loading and packing it was discovered the U-haul truck they had rented was too small and there was no way everything would go in it. At this point the only alternative was to rent a larger truck, take everything back out of the small one, repack it in the larger truck and then finish the job. Here is the lesson we all learned that motivated me to action. Because the job was monumental and we didn’t have enough help, at the end everyone was worn to a frazzle.
At this point I said, “never again” if I have anything to do with it. One thing I have learned from experience is that you can do anything, and make it enjoyable, if you have enough help. You do feel good after you have helped someone who really needs help and the key word here is “need” as many people have plenty of money to hire it done or their company is moving them and it’s no problem. Other people have really nice furniture and don’t want a bunch of amateurs like us loading it in a truck.
We also do other things that requires a strong back and willing heart like hauling large things to the city dump, cutting down and trimming dead trees and other things of this nature. Another group has been organized that we call “The Handyman Task Force” which is made up of men who are skilled in some trade who can help the elderly people and single mothers who have a need. We don’t do things for people who can and should do for themselves, we just get involved when someone really and truly needs a helping hand.
This concept goes back to earlier times in our nation when neighbors helped each other. Many a time neighbors showed up for a barn raising, hog killing or to help get the crop out of the field. In a sense we are doing the same thing, only we are helping others as a ministry of our church. We are actually doing what many others only talk about and like I said in the very beginning, “Unless you have a medical condition that would prevent it, you will never feel as good as you do after you have helped someone who really needs help.”
Should you have a desire to do this on an organized basis, which is the only way, you will have more success if you simply present the need and ask for volunteers. Personally I had rather have 10 people who are committed than to have 50 names on a list and most of them never become active. Thanks to e-mail, you can put them all on a group file and call them into action at a moments notice. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)