Monday Matters (March 3rd, 2014)


Reflections to start the week
Monday, March 3, 2014

Do all you can with what you have, in the time you have, in the place you are.

These words were spoken by a 11 year old, Nkosi Johnson, when he was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 13th International AIDS Conference, held in South Africa in 2000. The speech was given shortly before Nkosi died. Born with HIV/AIDS, he was an advocate for those suffering from this disease. His speech, given before thousands, ended with this compelling call to compassion: “Care for us and accept us. We are all human beings. We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk. We can talk. We have needs just like everyone else. We are all the same.”  The journalist Jim Wooten wrote the story of Nkosi in a book entitled We Are All The Same. In twelve years, Nkosi sure seemed to do all he could what he’d been given.

The church calendar made me recall Nkosi’s remarkable stewardship of the brief time he was given. His words, “Do all you can…” are a variation on words spoken by another saint, from another century, John Wesley whose feast day is observed today. Here is what Wesley said:

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you ever can.

Wesley lived out that vision of stewardship, putting faith into action in remarkable ways in the 18th century. He formed small groups marked by personal accountability, discipleship and religious instruction. He traveled far and wide sharing the good news of his faith. Under his leadership, Methodists led on social issues of the day, including abolitionism and prison reform. He took a lot of grief from traditional Anglicans of his day, who thought he’d gone off the spiritual deep end. He was a busy guy, apparently traveling more than 250,000 miles on horseback, giving away 30,000 pounds to people in need and delivering more than 40,000 sermons. Wesley seemed to do all he could with what he’d been given.

You and I are given today, March 3, 2014. It is a unique gift. We’ll never get it back once it’s spent. What will we do with this gift? What new thing does God have for us: what new job, what new encounter, what new relationship, what new challenge, what new opportunity for ministry?  It will be different for each one of us. Can this day be marked by a spirit of gratitude? Can we approach it with a spirit of joy? Can we approach it with courage, with heart? Can we use it to be of service to someone in need?

Today, how will you do all you can with what you have in the time you have, in the place you are?

– Jay Sidebotham

On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24

We urge you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,
‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’ See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!  
-II Corinthians 6:2


Jay SidebothamContact:

Rev. Jay Sidebotham
RenewalWorks is a ministry of Forward Movement.