Monday, February 23, 2009

Silly Little Barriers to Doing Good

phone card

So here I am trying to do good at a party and not too far into the process I discover...

I face silly little barriers to doing good.

In this case, all I have to do is send a gift card with left-over credit on it, to benefit Gift Card Giver, but I get stuck before I even get in the game. Oh, I'd like to be able to say I get stuck for really good reasons (I'm out making the world a better place by curing the common cold or something). But no, this is the truth of it...

1. I have questions about the process. I'm not sure how to get answers and I have to take the time to ask the questions. (This makes me feel anxious. I don't like being anxious.)

2. I get answers, but they mean a little more work on my part (You mean I have to call the companies or go to their websites to figure out how much credit is left on the cards?! My personal lazy-factor awakes.)

3. I can't find a permanent marker in the drawer that should have a permanent marker. (How come these can be found by the simplest child in need of writing on a wall, but not by me in a moment of do-good crisis? My disorganization skills suddenly depress me.)

4. I have to find an envelope (which means a relocation exercise... envelopes are upstairs), I have to look up the address to send the gift-card to (this means finding the original invitation), and I have to use two stamps just in case one won't cover the postage (selfish syndrome at the pickiest level now appears).

5. I think... maybe I could use this card myself. (Selfish syndrome apparently has multiple faces.)

Then I look at the pile of cards (above) and I think about all they represent. The simple fact that I have so many different kinds of cards reminds me that every day of my life I have more than enough to meet my needs. The kings remind me of The King, who wishes I would put aside my silly little barriers to do his Kingdom work. The division cards say to me that it is, sadly, small things which often ultimately divide me from blessing others. The cup of cold water... well, how could I forget what Jesus said about that? Will I offer an umbrella, share my apple, act the part of a compassionate queen? Or will I settle for that little joker card off to the left?

Since I have no plans on the horizon for curing the common cold, I decide to take the plunge and do this instead. Good thing I don't have to lick any stamps. : )

If you would like to do good by having fun, check out the House Party going on right now at High Calling Blogs. Ann V is bringing cranberry slushies. And Ann K is telling stories. Hope to see there...

Win a Starbucks Gift Card at Erica's
Fun Video at High Calling Blogs
Fun Video, Take 2, at HCB
Sarah's A Card Game of Skill? Or a Game of Guilt?
Need Magazine's Making Use of Those Last Few Dollars on Gift Cards

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Blogger sojourner said...

Thanks for sharing this!

4:31 PM  
Blogger RissaRoo said...

I can identify! Why does it seem like everything conspires against you when you try to do something good? And then, I remind myself that sometimes you can take the very fact that the world seems to be against you as hard evidence that you are, indeed, doing the right thing. I'm posting tomorrow about the card party, it's a wonderful idea and it's gotten me thinking about community and how we can make a difference!

6:30 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

Ah yes... it's so much easier to do nothing most of the time. I find that sometimes a little effort seems like a little too much effort. I'd like to change that about myself!

6:44 PM  
Blogger The Unknown Contributor said...

lol, you got it right. This is exactly why (especially #5... imagining my child in a fancy new outfit) I still have a $40 Gap card in my wallet. :-)

8:23 AM  
Blogger Laure said...

not a card carrier myself but the inspiration and intention behind the party is genius!

10:12 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I don't even know what the card party is (yet), but I'm cracking up!

I'm sure there exist some highly organized people who keep logs of the leftover amounts on their gift cards, stock an extra permanent marker in every drawer of every room, keep a spare envelope in their wallet (with 2 little self-stick stamps tucked inside) just for emergencies, and know the precise day in December that all packages must be shipped in order to arrive before Christmas. They are certainly selfless, energetic, generous, and compassionate. And they love a brisk jog up and down the stairs a few times every hour, just to get the heart pumping.

I'm sure they exist.

For me though, things like this take Herculean effort.
But so well worth it. It exercises my spirit and gets my heart pumping in sync with others.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Lorrie said...

he he he... :-)

8:12 AM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

Thanks so much for taking the leadership on this L.L.

And I love the title of this post.

So much of the time, we think the world needs complicated answers to complicated problems. It doesn't. It needs simple answers to simple problems.

Thanks for helping make things simple.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Billy Coffey said...

There are posts that convict me, posts that prod me, and posts that allow me the comfort of knowing I'm not alone in my foibles.

Thankfully, this post did all three.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Sam Van Eman said...

Funny stuff, LL. They all seem so petty, but I won't confess the number of tasks I've left undone for similar reasons.

Re: RAP, even if it is more an example of RAPP (Random Acts of Poetic Prose), please check out this recent post at Just to Say?

Lore is a deep and thoughtful writer and I hope you can find a place to highlight her gifts.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Excellent point here. I'm overcome myself right now by a big project, at least big in my eyes. And it's stopping me kind of dead in my tracks. Like a deer in the headlights? But I'm finally getting the move on, with some trepidation, to be sure.

But your thoughts here are good, and oh so true. A lot I could have done never did get done because of this, I'm sure.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Suzy said...

Thing is...
I can really identify with you here:)

Blessings ~


6:23 AM  

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