The Power of One

Melissa from Dusty Highways posted on her blog about a subject I struggle with. She has expressed it so beautifully and in a way that bought so much relief and peace to me that I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy.

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Dear Me, I am writing to remind you that you are you, and you can not do more than you can do. But there is, and always will be, water in your glass, however full…

You and I can’t save the world, anyone over the age of 22 knows that. But we can save one. In fact, to save one is quite easy, given the relative wealth of our resources. Do you know that $20 can give four people clean drinking water for life? When was the last time you saved a life, or four, with $20? Metamorphic International.

And then there’s the 1.2 million women and children sold into sexual slavery each year. It’s too big, we can’t save them. But we can make a valuable contribution toward providing one girl with a future. Destiny Rescue.

I was sharing with some friends recently about the tendency to see our contributions as worthless because we are overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem. But when you sit, like I did, in a strip club in Pattaya, beside a terrified little girl who has been trafficked for sex and will probably know no other life than exploitation, suddenly it becomes personal. She is skin, and life and breath. She is one. And she matters.

Saving the world aside, some days the life that’s right in front of me feels about as insurmountable as single-handedly combating sex trafficking. And I wonder if, just maybe (and you’ve no idea how much it pains me to say it!) it is ok to admit that life is too big for me sometimes, that I can’t do everything. Though maybe the little that I do have – the limited time, energy and emotional capacity – is enough.

You see, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I spend a lot of time and energy despairing at the huge gap between what I feel I need to strive for, and the resources that I actually possess. And in the process, I devalue the capacity that I have and the many things that I do manage to achieve. I have a suspicion that you do it, too.

There is a ‘one thing’ that I can accomplish today. And it matters. There is one person I can extend kindness to. In fact, there are two little ones right here, building blocks on the carpet. And I wonder if doing the one thing well – in a way that extends grace to my own soul, and those around me; in a way that produces peace, and the rest of being present in the moment – is where true greatness is found.

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Isn’t Melissa beautiful? What a gift. How do you feel about this issue of loading pressure on ourselves? Do you find yourself struggling to meet your own expectations? Your own unrealistic goals? I really do. It’s something I battle daily and I do feel like I’m making head way. God has me on a journey right now which is His answer to my prayers in this area. Painful but productive!

Melissa wrote a beautiful post for Every 1 Matters last year about her trip overseas with Destiny Rescue. Check it out here. And don’t forget to visit her site Dusty Highways!

Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely weekend.


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