What does it take to make a difference in another life?
For a parent or family member, it might take years, often a lifetime. Teachers may influence their students during a school year or a semester. Friends, fellow students, leaders and co-workers drift in and out of our lives.
My dad reminded me I was loved by sending clipped newspaper articles of interest to me with nothing written except my name and an arrow pointing to it.
After many years I realized my mom – who was the designated clipper – was in the background sending her love as well.
Earlier this year, I scanned dozens of letters from my paternal grandfather, who died long before I was born, to my grandmother in the year before they were married. At the end of each letter, a blizzard of X’s and O’s swirled.
The world is smaller than ever. This gives us the ability to make a difference – preferably a positive one – in more lives in mere moments.
During the Christmas season and perhaps even as your 2010 resolutions, plan opportunities to create meaningful minutes. Perhaps some ideas may require anything from an Internet account to some pocket change, or may take longer than 60 seconds. But making the decision or taking the first step does not.
A few suggestions are listed here. A more complete list can be found on our Web site, wordandway.org – search for meaningful minutes.
Stay in touch
• Check your e-mal address book. Send an encouraging e-mail once a week.
• Keep a supply of pre-stamped greeting or note cards. Jot a quick “thinking of you” note and send.
• Hug a friend or loved one. For 10 seconds.
• Bookmark electronic greeting card sites. Send cards regularly.
• Join Facebook. Befriend people. Send messages.
• Keep a list of birthdays.
• Invite a friend to lunch.
• Use smileys at the end of sentences. :-)
• Use Good Search.com as your Internet browser and benefit causes.
• Play games to help provide food and water, and click to benefit other causes at thenonprofits.com.
• Sign up to be an organ or tissue donor at organdonor.gov or (in Missouri) when you renew you drivers license.
• Make an appointment to give blood at 800-GIVE-LIFE.
• Benefits schools and other nonprofits through networkforgood.org.
• Place a note in a family member’s lunch.
• Start a family hobby. Some ideas are listed at secular findmeahobby.com.
• Start a family or couple devotional.
• Get everyone a library card.
• Read a book together.
• Say grace over meals together.
• Say “I love you.”
Help your faith
• Read the Bible or key passages through next year. Find reading plans at BibleYear.com or BibleGateway.com
• Subscribe to devotionals such as those at crosswalk.com/devotionals or devotionalchristian.com.
• Pray regularly.
Ken Satterfield (ksatterfield@wordand way.org) is marketing coordinator for Word& Way.