How to be a better person? # 36 – CAUSE SOMETHING GOOD

“You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:14-16).
I am not here by accident.  Two people caused me to be.  My wife and I caused three sons to be.  Even as a baby, I caused my parents and everyone near me to respond to me. Then they returned their favors that caused other events.  We all have been caused and we also cause things to happen.  Cause and effect are unavoidable and irreversible.  Nothing has and shall happen without being caused.  We can cause good or bad and we do.  Suppose we cannot help ourselves from doing what we should not do?  Then, we should ask ourselves what it is that is disabling us?  It is past time to seek help and what we have done has set cause and effect in motion.  We can predict the outcome and the results also become causes.  Every action, deed or word initiates a reaction and then the reaction causes further reactions.  That is why we are known by what we do or produce and not by what we believe or even profess to be.  You may not know me in person and even if we met you still would not know what I am like, but my writing can reveal something about me that can cause you to react.  It is for a reason that I seek to cause us to cause something good.  We are in the season when we can cause something good.  
I was told by many, “I am a nobody.”  How can I possibly impact others?  Have you been to a funeral lately?  I have been and conducted quite a few.  One time, an attorney, the undertaker and I were present at this man’s service.  Those that knew him described him as having been a foolish person that was swindled out of his home and farm by the very people he helped.  He ended up serving the people that took advantage of him and he did not even bother to show up at his funeral.  He had caused their wellbeing and they caused his demise.  Two months ago, my wife and I were present at her nephew’s funeral service where 437 firemen paid tribute to an inconspicuous human being that impacted their lives and work.  Last week, we paid our respect to a 92 year old.  The Church was nearly full and many shared their experience with the departed.  I never had any close encounters with this kind man; yet, it was he alone from a church of over three hundred that called me long distance to find out how I was doing.  I can tell you of many “nobodies.”  Not a one departed this world without leaving something that is still rippling in the lives of those that knew him and others that did not.  A few days ago, I had to use my horn quickly to avoid an accident on a left-turn right off way.  Too many careless drivers cause us to exercise caution.  We could have easily become the effect.  Even while we drive we can do something good.  Watch the road signs and the other driver!
I am easily embarrassed because I cannot give to draw attention.  I live in a world that is impressed by the amount and not by the intent.  My light, itself, is not very large nor is it attractive enough to be noticed.  I am not an expensive chandelier.  I am just a little candle and so are most people in the world.  In fact some lights are smaller than mine.  This is what I had to learn.  Seize does not matter, but where I place my candle does.  I do not shine for myself, but for those who are near me.  My little light can cause others to see where they are going.  People do watch even the smallest of candles (Heb. 12:1).  We love to hear the song, “His eye is on the sparrow and I know He is watching me.” The scene was a crowded Temple with people form far and near doing and seeking things.  In a secured area with guards was the Temple treasury deposit box.  Most of the people that went in the Temple deposited impressive amounts.  Unbeknown to all of them but one person, a poor widow managed to get close to the deposit box and threw in two tiny copper coins.  She whispered a prayer, then covered her face and vanished into the crowd.  The person that had His eyes on her was Jesus. He took His disciples aside and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their abundance; but she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on” (Mk. 12:43-44).  She caused our Lord to set her up as an example for all of us.  There is not a hair that we lose without our heavenly Father being aware of our loss (Lk. 21:18).  She was shinning for God and not for man.  It takes an enormous trust in God that He will supply the next meal.  There is a similar story in I Kings 17 about a widow and her son gathering sticks to bake her last meal and then died.  Hungry Elijah showed up and asked to be fed.  The widow fed him and ate what was left.  Her faith was rewarded with two miracles.  The jar of flour and jug of oil were never used up and her son was restored to life.  Our faith does cause our Lord to move in our behalf.  I am convinced that if God had not invisible directed us, especially during World War II we would not be among the living.  We were not only wondering where our next meal would come from, but whether we would be alive the next day.  Yet, our little light during the darkest hours in our life kept shinning for others and they too found their way home.
Jesus told a parable about five foolish virgins that had empty lamps. Their lamps were not lit because they had neglected to buy oil (Mt. 25:1-13).  We can identify with people that have empty lamps.  During the war years and after, we could not buy enough bread for a meal.  Those were hungry and lonely years.  Hungry and starving bodies do not shine well.  If we do not fill our physical bodies with the proper attire and nourishments, we will not cause or arouse attention.  I learned the hard way that love without bread does not last.  But what about that man shall not live by bread alone?  Please do not compare us with the devil.  He was not hungry! We cannot be a spring of water if our jugs are empty or have developed leaks.  We must repair our system so that we can store the harvest before we can share it.  And like the foolish virgins, we cannot depend on others to fill us when we ourselves make no attempt to become a better person.  Without having something useful to give, our lights become empty signs of who we are and whom we represent.  It is by what de do that God enters the picture the world sees.  We do not give to be impressed but to meet the needs.  Jesus summed it up thus, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  I tell you the truth they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.  Then your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you” (Mt. 6:1-4).  
Many, in the world, believe they can be neutral or cause nothing.  Causing nothing is equal to doing harm.  If we do not produce bread or oil like the foolish virgins, we will die and not enjoy life with those that filled their jars and jugs.  By depriving ourselves in doing something worth living for, we become stumbling blocks to others and to ourselves.  It can be far more beneficial to cause something good to happen.  It does not have to be a big thing even two small coins can turn things around.  It is being willing to look about us and see where we can contribute to making a difference in other people.  By making others better, we too become better than we were before.  We grow by causing things to improve.  It may take a while to see what our contribution has caused.  Paul the Apostle gave us a hint.  “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (I Cor. 13:11-12).  It is like a mustard seed, when planted it becomes one of the largest garden shrubs for birds to perch safely in its branches (Mk. 4:31-32).