And we’re off! Act N°1: Set Out

Excited to be starting 40 Acts, I am called on to pause & consider what holds me back and what I can offer. The Acts are:

GREEN: Find a pen and two pages from a notepad. On the first page, list everything that’s holding you back right now from living a generous life. Then on the second page, list everything that you have to give away – time, skills, resources. Don’t sell yourself short here – really think about what you have. Rip up the first list. Pray over the second.

AMBER: Look at the second list. Use one of the smaller resources you’ve written down to do something quick and simple today.

RED: Call a mate. Ask them to hold you accountable for the next 39 days – maybe have them call you weekly to check how you’ve been doing with the challenges (or check in every day to pester you if you need it…)

I love the lines from the meditation: Last year, over 100,000 people from 180 countries committed 40 days to exploring what it is like to be generous. Intentional, uncomfortable, inconvenient, radical, contagious, over-the-top, joyful, and – most importantly – Christ-like generosity.

And yes, it was like that – the words inconvenient and intentional both rang true for me particularly. Maybe uncomfortable too – which is one of the things that I wrote as holding me back from generosity “embarrassment”, I wrote – being seen as different, or odd (but I am odd – I’m English!) But I’m excited to be challenged!

I’ve prayed for prompts from God – to open my eyes, my heart, my spirit to see and understand what he wants me to do. “A willing spirit” I wrote for a resource – yes, I am willing, but I still need the final push.

So what am I doing for the Acts? All of them:

GREEN: I’ve written my list, I’ve prayed, I’ve girded my loins.

AMBER: I’m meeting a friend for lunch. I’m planning on buying her a bunch of flowers.

RED: You‘re my Mates. I’m planning on blogging when I can about what I’m doing – not to boast, not for plaudits (though you are very welcome to tell me how lovely I am!) but to be accountable, to remind myself why I’m doing this, to be in community with all the other 40 Activists who are taking part in this challenge of being open to generosity and love.

I repeat those words of David Tennant on The Last Leg: It’s up to us to make it okay. It’s time to be positively rebellious and rebelliously positive…



5 thoughts on “And we’re off! Act N°1: Set Out

  1. I am truly struggling with this one. I genuinely try to live a generous life already – today I am taking a friend to his colleagues funeral, and then later on I’m babysitting for another couple. When I tried to write my list, it felt like the sort of to-do list where you put “get dressed, eat breakfast, clean teeth…” because those are things you will be doing anyway but it means you have something to tick off. And I suspect your lunch date/flowers was already on your calendar before the challenge started, because I know YOU to be a generous person. And why do I have to rip up list #1? surely the stuff that holds me back is something I need to pray about [rather than just dismiss it], ?? Oh dear, I am sounding negative. Sorry. Hoping & praying that [a] you have a great lunch date and continue in your lovely generous way and [b] that I manage to engage properly with this challenge!! Lenten blessings, my friend

  2. Alison, you ARE a lovely, generous person! I received your thoughtful note and delightful postcards; they were a much-needed bright spot in my week. But yes, we all need to be challenged by the Holy Spirit, to surrender more to God, to follow His lead even – ESPECIALLY – when it’s outside our comfort zone. I sense more willingness in you through this post to do that this year; ACT ON!

  3. Like I said in my email, I think that the ripping up signifies a willingness to let go of those things that hold us back – but I prayed about them before ripping up the paper. And I think there are always going to be Acts that feel more difficult, or don’t ring quite true. It’s not a problem – there’s no right or wrong way of doing this – just wait 24 hours. There’ll be another Challenge along in the morning!! 😺

  4. Hi there Alison. I’ve signed up again this year (at the 11th hour), but have no idea how I am going to tackle this. I haven’t even got beyond reading the first day. Anyhow, I enjoyed reading your encouraging post on day one and will follow with interest and hopefully find the time, inclination, motivation and encouragement to join in along the way.

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