What If? The2015 Kindness Challenge

January 5, 2015

A few days ago I received an email and challenge to make 2015 awesome. Below are some excerpts from the email and the challenge for you to consider taking yourself. I have stepped up and am taking the challenge myself.

If you accept the challenge, be sure to share your stories on Facebook with #‎KindnessChallenge2015‬

As I look back on 2014 for me personally, I see it as a year of many challenges. There have been challenges with relationships, challenges with illnesses, challenges with schools – the same types of challenges that most people face in one form or another. However, the biggest challenge I have faced this year is growing in my trust in God. As I face my daily challenges, God is constantly reminding me that I have to trust in Him in order to be able to successfully face what lies in front of me, confront my challenges, learn from them and come out stronger on the other side. Most of the time, this comes in the form of simply not giving up hope.

I have always loved volunteering but often held back for fear of not having enough time to fit it into my schedule. This year God has given me many wonderful opportunities to find great joy in serving others, while at the same time teaching me to let go of some of my past hang-ups. Sure, the majority of the time my house is a mess and we may spend more time eating take-out food than we probably should, but I’ve realized those things are all inconsequential when compared to an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Even more meaningful is when I get the opportunity to do these things with my family by my side.

Which brings me to the next challenge that God has laid out for me. About a month ago, God put the idea of a Kindness Challenge into my head. It was one of those things that kept forming, even when I tried to convince myself that it would not work. I have all sorts of reasons for not doing it, but God keeps shooting them down. At first I was too busy to think up a year’s worth of challenges. Then I sat down one day over lunch and, within an hour, everything just came to me. Next, I tried to convince myself that it really wasn’t all that important and wasn’t something that I need to take on. Then I went to church one Sunday and Sean Cronin gave a sermon where he kept stressing how critical it is to treat others as we would like to be treated. I realized that was what this kindness challenge was all about and it was really important for me to take it on. But, of course, I was not through coming up with reasons not to do this. I then decided that, if I was going to do it, I wanted to print up booklets for everyone and, if I wanted to reach out to my family and friends, it would cost quite a bit to print up the books and mail them out before the end of the year. Well, God pretty much told me “Nice try, but….” and provided me with unexpected funds to do the printing and mailing. So, I have run out of excuses.

All that being said, I’m still a bit nervous about the whole thing…What if people think it’s stupid? What if no one wants to join me in doing it? What if I reach out to lots of people and they don’t join and it just reminds me of the past hurt of being the perpetually un-popular kid who no one would follow? What if it takes too much time? What if I can’t follow through on some of the challenges myself? What it….? God’s answer to me – “What if you are the only one who takes on the challenge and, in your actions during the year, you only positively impact one person’s life – isn’t that worth it?” The answer, of course, is yes.

So, here I go into 2015 with new challenges to face, reminding myself that God has it all under control and my job is just to pay attention to Him and trust Him. It’s going to be an amazing year.

Download the 2015 Kindness Challenge

Christine Sharp

P.S. You can also pick up a printed copy of the challenge at the blue tent at the Chantilly Campus or at the Next Steps table in Linton Hall.

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