Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Good Word a Day, Day 31: Making the World a Better Place, One Party at a Time

E.B. White once said something like this: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." (I originally read this quote here; however, a little more digging revealed several variations of it.)

I get that, but lately, I’ve been noticing that improving the world and enjoying the world can go hand in hand. Like this, for instance:

Our annual Pumpkin Festival photo... We were cleaning up
and the candy had been put away! I need a new idea
for next year; the monster teeth didn't survive the trip home.
A single mom and her four young children helped out at our church’s pumpkin patch this year.  (How this came about is a story all its own.) As our family was giving their family a ride home after a morning in the patch, my kids started telling her kids all about the fun stuff there would be at our upcoming Pumpkin Festival. Candy! Games! Popcorn! Hot dogs! Hay rides! Bounce houses! Music! Face painting! Crazy hair! My boys gushed with excitement.

Then one of the girls quietly asked, “Is it free?”

“Yes!” I said. “It’s all free!” Let me tell you, I was SO glad I got to say “yes.” I know some places charge admission to their Harvest/Pumpkin/Halloween events for various reasons. At my church, though, we consider our Pumpkin Festival a gift to our Memphis neighbors. It’s a safe, family-friendly way to have fun, dress up, eat junk food, and enjoy the world and each other’s company.

It’s a big party that strengthens the community. It's making the world a better place in a way that happens to be really enjoyable.

In my “Dawnings” leadership team, we’ve been talking about hospitality over the last few weeks. When we met this past Sunday, I noticed that we also said the word “fun” a lot. Building, nourishing, sustaining, and growing communities requires work – but not drudgery. We can make it as fun as we can imagine.

E.B. White also wrote, "All I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world" (I found that quote here). Loving the world is at the heart of any work God calls us to do. And what is more enjoyable than love?
 
Whether you participate in Halloween festivities today, have a simple dinner with family or friends, or maybe just make a phone call or write a letter, I challenge you to improve the world by building community… but the good word of the day is that it can be FUN!

THANKS for hanging out with me for 31 straight days! 
I hope you have been blessed!

1 comment:

Beth Zimmerman said...

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