Friday, November 18, 2011

The Power of Half and Teenagers

by Rev. Felicia Fox

One of the reasons I love my job is I get to see youth and children make a real difference in the world. They really do have a way of seeing past all of the surface level issues that seem to distract us adults. Here’s an example I found this week of a teenager who saw a need and came up with a pretty simple answer that transformed her family’s life.

One day a father was driving his fourteen year old daughter, Hannah through the streets of downtown Atlanta. Hannah noticed a homeless man with a sign asking for food. On the other side was a mercedes benz. The girl had a great idea. If the man in the mercedes had a less expensive car the homeless man could use some of that money to have a meal. It was a brilliant and simple idea. Over the next few weeks Hannah kept bringing the idea up with her family. One night her aggravated mother asked if she was suggesting they should sell their house and give away all their nice things. That’s exactly what Hannah wanted. That’s exactly what the family did. They sold their 1.5 million dollar home and brought one half the size. They donated all the things they no longer needed to charity. The money from their home when to fund projects in African villages. There are now villages in Africa that have medical clinics and schools thanks to Hannah and her family. This story was the inspiration for her book, The Power of Half.

Isn’t it just like a teenager to see a need and see a solution that no adult would ever think of? It seems pretty simple. If you have an extra car you don’t need, give it to somebody who needs it. If you have extra food, feed a hunger person. It is so simple but so hard for us adults to do. We have a way of finding reasons to keep all of our stuff. We often hide the motivation behind our real reasons by saying we are just being responsible. We might need those things one day. However, most of those reasons come back to our own selfishness and our lack of faith.

Jesus summed up the idea this way, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19 – 21)

This Sunday I’ll be sharing Hannah’s story with our youth during FLASH. We’ll be taking a hard look at our own lives and thinking about where our treasure really lies. I invite you to do the same. After all, none of us really own anything. It is all suppose to belong to God.

Felicia Fox is the Minister of Youth and Children at First Baptist Church of Mount Olive, NC. This article originally appeared on her blog.

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