Today, I was reading an article in “World” magazine. It was about a woman named Amy Sherman. She is a woman with a Ph.D. in economic development from University of VA.
She was asked if she could choose between spending the rest of her career helping people understand the complexities of economic theory, where would she spend it?…in the university classroom with bright grad students or in a poor neighborhood, in an elementary school setting, helping third graders understand the nitty-gritty basics of how dollars behave?
She sounds like the kind of person I would like to be around. No, I obviously don’t have the Ph.D. nor do I consider myself to be a scholar. But I do like to think about the “why’s” of what I am doing. Otherwise, what is the point!
If I am doing things for others just for the sake of doing good, it doesn’t really make much sense. I want the good I’m doing to help them in ways that truly help them. I don’t want them to be dependent on me. I want them to learn what they need to do, and why. I want them to learn to be self-sufficient…in a good way.
However, we can get to focused on the why’s of what we are doing, the philosophy behind it and not be aware of the practical issues involved. Often our theories are good…sort-of…but the practical outworking is lousy. The theory hasn’t been honed yet.
Here is a woman who gets it! She knows that issues like poverty, injustice, crime, abuse. These are not issues that are resolved in one or two…or even 4 or 5 short-term mission trips to a given location. They aren’t even resolved with long-term “missionaries” in the area. They need concentrated involvement with multi-pronged approaches that involve not only those specific issues externally, but issues of the heart…and lots and lots of change. That does not come easily…as all of us know who have ever tried to change anything in our personal lives…like lose weight for example!
I look forward to reading her soon-coming book: Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by InterVarsity Press.
How are you doing personally with melding your words and your deeds? I am an idealist. My words can sound so great! Putting them into practice can be much more difficult. Today, I am convicted by my words to get off my duff!
**By the way, if you are looking for a challenge, I recommend “World“. It gives me information about books and people in the Kingdom. all over the world! It shows me examples of people doing kingdom work in all kinds of different ways. I don’t agree with everything I read…my kind of magazine:)