But one thing I would like folks to consider: find one thing in one area of your life and figure out how your can do it a little better. Think seriously about what you would like to change, what action you might take to make that happen, tell someone else who encourages you your plan to make the change so it becomes a goal rather than a hope.
For instance, I hope to be more respectful of folks who volunteer on my team, be better prepared and more organized so I can embrace new volunteers with more enthusiasm and get them up and running, support everyone to contribute their best ideas and share their own goals in an environment that seeks consensus so the maximum amount of good can be done with the minimum amount of resources, both human and financial. I'll remember to say "thank you" and pray for my team and those we serve.
A pastor at my church tells the story of a journey to replace a worn-out copier. It took months of research and conversation and meetings (to the point where I suspect the office staff was spending their lunch hours picking up cans on the highway to raise the money themselves) to finally get to a "yes" that was both funded at the time of the original request and, unless they wanted to go to the time and higher expense of sending someone to the library with a roll of dimes, needed to be addressed promptly. This resulted in a reconsideration of the way decisions were being made that resulted in much greater efficiency, including fewer meetings. Meetings make us feel like we are moving forward, but I've been in too many meetings in business and church and other volunteer organizations that resulted in more ill-will and less actual progress than a couple of well-written emails to folks with authority and willingness to act did.
So let us take this passage recorded by St, Paul in Philippians 2:1-4. If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. I believe that if we take this passage into each activity we begin, those activities will be blessed in new and exciting ways.
Where can you infuse mercy, love, cohesiveness, compassion, sympathy, humility, generosity, kindness and prayer into your interactions today? tomorrow? for a week? for a month? What if it made a difference for you, for the work you do, for the people you serve and serve with? Are you willing to take the challenge?