Many folks see a tragic story on the news, hear a bit of juicy gossip, or suffer a personal set back and their immediate reaction is to complain. I suppose that we are all welcome to our own opinions, but have you ever thought about the good that complaining NEVER does? I mean really where does complaining get us? I’m not saying, “Just shut up and accept it.” What I am really arguing for is instead of just wasting breath on powerless words why not do something about it? Get up off the couch and make a change. Be a contender for a cause.
Sometimes life can seem like a game of dodge ball, something is always being hurdled your way. There are two ways to play the game. You can dodge everything that comes your way (and effectively save your own skin) or you can stare down your opponents who are throwing the ball and risk getting hit for a chance to catch the ball which will eliminate an opponent and bring someone back into the game from your team.
Complainers just grumble about all the stuff coming their way. They are Monday morning quarterbacks who can tell you every wrong move the coach or players made the day before, but could never play the game themselves. Contenders take the same grievances that a complainer has and does something about it. They volunteer, they participate in finding solutions, they petition their local government, they raise money for research, they blog to raise awareness, they passionately pursue avenues that will change the situation. Contenders make a difference.
But be warned. Contending is far more tiring than just complaining. It takes time and energy to volunteer, blog with a cause, start an organization, etc. Just because you contend doesn’t mean that you will win in your lifetime. Some battles are bigger than others. Especially battles where real people are involved. Sometimes it takes generations to change (just think about where our nation was on slavery less than two centuries ago and civil rights 50 years ago). However, being a contender does make a difference. You may not change the tide of illiteracy in your local school this year, but you can make a difference in the life of one or two kids and for them it will be all the difference in the world.
Along with many avenues through my church, I’m also invested by volunteering in two of our local schools. In the elementary school I’m helping kids learn to read and I mentor at our middle school. What about you? Where are you contending to make a difference? Who are you helping to get back in the game?