Well, it’s been a busy few days and while I’ve mostly kept up with the 40 Acts I’ve not really kept up my blogging about them. But actually, I think that’s okay, because the aim is to act, not necessarily to blog!
I was well-and-truly nudged on Friday, and I gave the Carrefour voucher to somebody. I wish I’d taken time to chat to them more – or even to smile a bit more – but I was so concentrated on what I was saying that I sounded a bit grumpy I think!! Still, I hope he found it useful.
Slightly ironically I felt that I didn’t have time to think about the “time” challenge on Saturday…
22: Give It Time
Time is money – or is it more precious than that? Giving your time and talents to a cause or to someone because they need some help, moral support, company or just plain because can be priceless. Whether it’s a whole day or an hour, this act is about blessing others with the gift of your time.
High Five:Book five minutes into your daily schedule now and commit to give that time to someone who needs it. Perhaps your family, a friend, or even more time in prayer.
Half an hour:Got behind with 40acts? Take 30 minutes today and whizz back through some that you’ve missed. You’ll be surprised at how generous you can be in 1800 seconds
Donate a Day:What could you do for someone with a whole day? Could you book one day’s annual leave this year and spend it helping others?
We had friends coming for dinner on Sunday and the house needed cleaning plus food preparing…I was happy to do it and share the work with Mr FD. But in fact, my way of completing this challenge ended up being to “allow” Mr FD to go to Roanne with another friend to give advice on buying a new bike. That is to say, normally I would be grumbling and maundering that I was doing all the work and he should be helping me instead of gadding about in Roanne having lunch out and looking at bikes with friends.
BUT I DIDN’T! I simply got myself in the mindset that I was giving my time to these friends by cleaning & cooking and Mr FD was giving his time to other friends by looking at bikes…and that actually IT WAS FINE. And it was.
Goodness me. How good is that?! A – may – ZING!
The, on Sunday, we had a fabulous lunch and spent a good time getting to know my Rector and his wife a little better. It was a good time.
Yesterday, the action was to do with prayer and social media…
23: SHARE, PRAY, LIKE
There’s a lot of noise on social media. And probably even more in the newspapers. Everyone’s got a story they want to air. Sometimes these snippets can be great things, but other times it’s a little more worrying. Dedicate some time to scroll through your newsfeed, in whatever form that takes, and pick out what’s shouting to be prayed for.
5 Minutes:Read your local newspaper, watch TV or scroll through your Facebook newsfeed. Pray for each item as it appears.
15 minutes:Use your journal to write down some prayer points for today or schedule three blocks of five minutes to pray for whatever you encounter either on social media or the news today.
An hour:You’ve got time to act! Yes, keep on praying through your social media feed, but take action too. Write letters of support, make donations to charities in need of help, answer friends’ cries for help and more!
As I’ve said previously I’m not a social media person, and I was working all day, but I have a longer lunch time now as my lunchtime course has finished. So I took 30 minutes to scroll through the contacts on my phone and to pray for those whose names leapt out at me…some I knew had particular needs,others I felt called to pray for something, and others were just “leaving-it-up-to-God” prayers.
I’m not sure I should admit it, as a Christian and a Lay leader but I am dubious about the efficacy of prayer. I’m never totally sure why we should pray…It seems to me that by praying for someone to be healed (for example) there is the unspoken assumption that they won’t be healed unless people pray for them. If God wasn’t going to heal them, and then I prayed and he changed his mind, well…that’s not saying much about God. And if he was going to heal them any way why do I bother to pray…?
If I pray “make me the channel of your healing…providing…etc” then yes, that’s different. I’m showing that I’m up for being involved in the work. But just praying “for” someone? I do it, but I know that God knows I’m not convinced it does any good… I guess there’s something in it of the child going to a parent and asking for something, or maybe it’s just saying “Look, God, I feel helpless in the face of this situation…” but I’m still not sure.
Ah well. I’ll continue with my prayers which usually start “You know how I feel about this, but…” and I’ll wait to be amazed.
Today’s challenge is no such a good one for someone who is fasting today (only because I’m following the 5:2 method, not for any deep religious reasons!!) as it involves the temptation of chocklit!!
24: CHOCS AWAY!
Mmm, chocolate. We think #ChocolateTuesdays – free chocolate given to all – should be an official thing. With that in mind, today’s act has one aim: chocolating. Yes, we’ve created a verb. It’s a simple, quick way to surprise someone. And for those that aren’t cacao-crazy? Well, choose a sweet treat of choice. Dentists all over the nation might not approve, but everyone else will be smiling …
Nibble the edges:Slip a bar of chocolate into someone’s bag with a note saying ‘#40acts’. Or leave a bar or two in your local library, on a park bench or on the train.
Get Your Teeth into it:Chocolate everyone in your department/road/toddler group – or wherever you happen to be going today.
The entire confection:Clear the confectionary aisles in your local supermarket and get out onto the streets, handing out free treats for all. Or you could do what some challengers did last year and announce free chocolate on your commute home!
I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses for NOT doing this Act today, but I have already done it!
Last Friday, I decided to make people smile not by doing something silly, but by giving out quotations about smiles…
For example: (except mine were in French!)
But then I thought people might think I was having a dig at them: “Hey Grumpy! Put a smile on your face!” So I left those cards in places to be found by chance. And instead I bought a pack of mini-Twix and a bag of mini-boxes-of-Smarties and wandered the shopping centre giving out boxes/biscuits.
“Un petit cadeau! Parce que c’est vendredi!” I trilled as I thrust chocklit at people. Most were so taken aback that they were left speechlessly clutching confectionary as the Mad English Woman skipped off to her next victim. I have to say it wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined it was going to be. Most people did smile back, although they were a bit stunned, but I found the snatchy adolescents a bit difficult to feel charitable towards.
So I have already doled out chocklit. And while I like the idea of leaving a bar or two to be discovered in odd places, there is the lingering thought that I’m not sure I would eat a stray chocolate bar that I found lying around… But maybe I’m just being a bit of a Mardy Cow today and I just need to get on with it!
So…I’ll go and buy a couple of bars, and pop them in a few random letter boxes with a note, saying something like “Le chocolat – profitez en: c’est bon pour le moral!” (Chocolate: enjoy it: it’s good for the morale)