27 June, 2019
I love being a parent. And I usually jump head-first into whatever activities my kids show interest in – although there have been a few exceptions. So last September, when Abbey invited me to join her on a challenge to go without chocolate for one year, I said “yes” – without thinking.
The first few days were the most difficult – particularly when I had to resist chocolate brownies at our church supper. I suggested to Abbey that a brownie was cake rather than chocolate, but to no avail. Her official ruling? “No brownies allowed!” I wondered what I had got myself into…Christmas tested my resolve but I persevered, and, by the time the Easter eggs were in the shops, I was not even tempted. In fact, I felt more connected to the real Easter story without the chocolate distraction. Abbey’s idea led to a decision which turned into commitment, and finally, it became a habit. It started as a challenge but it became easier.
Going without chocolate is a healthy choice that has highlighted to me how (relatively) easy it is to go without a few luxuries – and to save money in the process. And what a significant difference the money saved could make to people living without clean water, food, income or access to healthcare and education services that we take for granted.
A friend of mine likes to start sentences with the words “Imagine if…”. The sentences often end in crazy ideas that lead to laughter and great memories. But imagine if our faith community of 60,000 members sacrificed a luxury to give $5 each per week to help someone else. I challenge you to grab a calculator and work out the impact we could have on the lives of those who need a hand up. I know this is a simplistic example and that not everyone is in a position to give away $5 per week, but it illustrates the collective power of our community of faith to courageously and compassionately help others so that all may live as God intended.
I love our church. We are not perfect, but we have a heart for serving others which I find inspiring. Thank you for continuing to make amazing things happen for people in need.