Catchy title? What does this mean to you? A statement of fact? A question? A challenge?
First, let me be clear that I have shamelessly stolen the title from a recent “Disciple’s Generous Response Moment” by Zac Harmon-McLaughlin. Zac’s point is essentially that many people have invested in him from the time he was a child, through his teen years, and into his young adulthood. Yes, some of that “investment” involved providing some financial assistance to ensure he could participate in some important and meaningful experiences which he now credits with changing his life in various ways. Mostly, however, that “investment” was in the form of others who cared about him, who mentored him, who encouraged him, who motivated him to learn and to understand many lessons of life in the context of many “communities of Christ” as well as specifically within the Community of Christ.
I am using that title as a question: Who has invested in you to bring you to this point in your life? Who cared enough about you to ensure that you were exposed to good and meaningful experiences such as, for example, youth camps or SPEC or travel? Who has helped you find your way in life when life has been confusing? Perhaps it has been your parents or grandparents or other relatives. Perhaps it has been people from your congregation who wanted to do what they could to ensure you had a positive and meaningful experience at church or activities related to church. Or perhaps it was a teacher or a coach or a camp counselor or other friend who provided encouragement in just the right way at just the right time.
I am using the title as a challenge: Who are you investing in? A child or teen who needs encouragement? A friend of any age who just needs a friendly listening ear and maybe a bit of good advice as they deal with one (or more) life’s challenges? Or maybe a family member that just needs to be reminded once in a while that they are loved? Are you “paying forward” investment in others that at some point in your life benefitted you?
There are lots of questions here. Answers may not be obvious for some people. Perhaps you really have difficulty thinking of people who invested in you at some point in your life. Or perhaps you don’t feel you have the skills or opportunity to invest in others now. It is possible that life has been hard and just continues to be hard.
At this point, let me reinforce one of the enduring principles of the church: all persons are of worth. All persons are of worth in the sight of God. All persons have worth, whether they recognize it or not, in their families, in their communities, in their schools, and/or in their workplaces – and in their congregations or whatever constitutes their church community.
As persons of worth, we can be invested in. As persons of worth, we can invest in others. And that investment can be in the form of support, of friendship, of good advice, of a listening ear, of sharing important experiences – and, yes, sometimes of helping in some monetary way.
Jesus challenged us with the two greatest commandments:
This is the greatest and first commandment. “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Invest in each other!
As always, I pray for you God’s blessings of joy, hope, love, and peace in these challenging times.
Canada West Mission Centre President
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537