Sunday, December 4, 2011

you can learn from those you lead.

here i was serving in a local food bank this summer, dreading the hours i was about to spend walking around a shelving unit while placing cans of food in countless plastic bags. i felt bored within minutes and found myself glancing at the clock every second as if my eyes had the ability to make time go by faster. it didn't take long, though, before one of the students 'i was leading' caught my attention.

"OH!" he said with excitement, "this family's going to love THIS" as he placed a jar of peanut butter in the bag. for the next few hours, i watched in amazement as he put his heart and soul into each bag, keeping the family [who would now have food to eat] in mind with every bag he filled. it didn't take long for me to catch wind of his perspective and heart, either, because, well, you can learn from those you lead.

my sister and i were approached by some rather attractive men in uniform yesterday as we were entering the grocery store. turns out they were handing out paper bags and encouraging everyone to participate in a local food drive by filling their bag with canned goods and the like. i must say, i was happy to oblige in this 'activity' for a few reasons: 1) i thought this was a great idea 2) my family used to utilize the food bank and this was a way in which i could give back and 3) filling a bag would guarantee that i could reconnect with these good looking men on the way out of the grocery store [the latter being of least importance] ;)

at first, we stuck to the list that they gave us, but then i found myself thinking about the potential of a kid going back to school without something as cool as kool aid jammers ... so i threw those in, too. then my sister threw in a package of oreos for the same reason ... and a box of tea for the mom [hello, stereotype] ... and the list goes on.

so here i was applying the lesson a young man from michigan taught me nearly six months a go. instead of just 'throwing food into a bag', i thought about the families who wouldn't have to worry about where their next meal was coming from. instead of just 'going through the motions', i was able to see purpose in what i was doing ... all because, you guessed it -- you can learn from those you lead.

who are YOU leading and what can you learn from them?

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