We Left to Give to Others Not to Be Selfish

Welcome back. You belong here.

So I’m blogging through the process of leaving a full time job doing church to serve my community, help the poor and help people find God.

The last few weeks have been filled with job applications, resumes, and giving up Anxiety for Lent.  It’s also been a time to hear my soul. What is my soul saying?

I’ve been Regular not Radical.

Even though the last few weeks have been tough, the hardest thing is to realize how unwilling I am to give my self away. I am working day and night trying not to fall off the financial wagon, trying to make sure our family has everything we need. Everything.

I want a job
I want insurance
I want to live where I’m happy
I want to have a nice job
I want to hang out with nice people
I want to be in educated and a professional environments
I want to make money, as much or more than before
I want, I want, I want…wow

We don’t need all that. We need less.

We could cancel direcTV completely instead of partially. We could move into a smaller house, rent, we could sell half the clothes we have and give the money to the poor.

Every time someone moves what is it they always say: We have too much junk! I’m gonna get rid of half of it and live with less. Then you start buying more clothes, more coats, more stuff and you’re back to where you started.

We left to give to others, not to get another job so we can keep living our regular lives. We left to give to others, to help the poor. But I’m selfish.

The other day, a friend who’s volunteering at the local Head Start called me and said “Trig, we could really use your Spanish and mentorship skills here, would you pray and consider volunteering” I immediately thought “volunteer? Hah, I need cash!”

I’ve been asking a lot of people in high places for recommendations. All of them are more than willing to put in a good word for me. But how am I helping them? How am I serving the poor in spirit in them? Am I asking how they are, what they need? No. I’m more interested in getting the next job so I can keep things as they were and not skip a beat. That’s not the ways of the Kingdom of God, that’s the path of the American Dream and the path of opportunity.

That’s not being Radical, that’s being Regular.

My spiritual director told me a few weeks ago “faith is the path of greatest sacrifice and devotion, not of greatest opportunity” I want the greatest opportunity. But I don’t.

Outside my office in Old Town, there are two homeless guys Steve and Dan. I’ve talked to Steve, he needs help.

The children at Head Start need mentors.

The parents at Children’s Hospital need a translator.

The principal at our school needs prayer, she deals with a lot.

Two of my neighbors need someone to listen.

Three other families in our neighborhood, need someone to bring them together to celebrate Maria coming home after her house burned down and she lost her husband last April.

A girl l I met today needs a place to belong.

My friends who are young marrieds, need a place to belong.

Sophie needs prayer, she’s 7 and has a tumor in her brain. Her parents need love.

The children in the soccer league at our school need mentors.

The coach needs someone to set-up the goals before he can get there.

Today I went and had lunch with our children at school. As I sat there with our 9 year old and then with our 7 year old, I couldn’t help but feel compassion for the children watching us eat. I started to talking to them, Omar, Oscar, Ian. Most of these children are on free and reduced lunch programs, most of them take white plastic bags of food home every Friday as they board the school bus. Most of them live under the poverty line, many children of undocumented families who struggle every day, living in crowded apartments or trailerparks. I know many of them by name.

But instead of serving, I’m anxious over getting a job that will make me feel safe and secure. That’s not why I left. Sometimes it’s hard to change old habits.

What are your old habits that need to die? Where are you being Regular instead of Radical?

We left to give to others not to be selfish. Something needs to change.

Have a great day.

Into the future,


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