A story of told of the famous Catholic nun, Mother Teresa. When she visited Australia, a young recruit to the monastery was assigned to be her guide and “gofer” during her stay. The young man was thrilled, excited at the prospect of being so close to this woman, talking with her, and learning from her. During the visit, he became frustrated. Although he was constantly near her, he rarely had the opportunity to speak to Mother Teresa. There were always dignitaries to meet, and other people clamoring for her attention.
Finally, when her tour was over, she was due to fly to New Guinea. In desperation, the young man seized an opportunity to speak to Mother Teresa. “If I pay my own fare to New Guinea, can I sit next to you on the plane so I can talk to you and learn from you?” Mother Teresa looked at him. “You have enough money to pay the airfare?” she asked. “Yes,” he replied eagerly. “Then give that money to the poor,” she said. “You’ll learn more from that than anything I can tell you.”
I’m a big fan of Mother Teresa; but I’m not suggesting that Mother Teresa’s suggestion is one we should all adopt. Nor am I saying that we shouldn’t be learning from God’s Word, and from the teachings of the Church. Yet, there’s certainly something powerful to be said for learning by doing. The basic problem of the young man was that he wanted to experience a feeling when he needed to simply learn by doing.
Sometimes we need to learn by doing. Do you want to learn to trust God more? Do you want to know the feeling of how much God cares for you? Do you want to feel certain that God will see you through everything this world can throw at you?
Learn by doing! Put trust in God in some tangible way. Give time, talents, or treasure away generously, and see how God makes use of your gift. Offer service to the needy, without thought or hope of reward. Sacrifice yourself, in some small way, and show grace to another undeserving person. Pray, meditate, and reflect on God’s promise of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Get involved in the mix of ministry activities here at Hope, and put your faith into action.
Do something! God has a wonderful, powerful way of working in the circumstances of our lives, and helping us learn and grow through our simple, humble actions. I encourage you to find a way this month to learn by doing!
In Christ, who did it all for you,
Pastor Wayne Puls