AP Lang and Comp
25 March 2014
Lately, all I have wanted is a car. Everyone seems to have one, except for me. But when I really start to think about how important it is, I question why I want one. It is not because it’s necessary, but because everyone else has one and I don’t. Wanting the car doesn't make my life any better, it just takes up space in my mind. Always thinking about yourself takes up space in your mind and heart that could be used to actually make a difference in someone’s’ life. Last summer I had the chance to go to Panama on a mission trip. I wasn't all that excited about going. I mean, who thinks it sounds fun to go camp on a concrete slab in the middle of a jungle in a village with wild dogs and chickens running around trying to talk to people who don't speak the same language as you. At first, all I thought about was my own comfort; where I was sleeping, what I would have to eat, if I would be too hot, and if I would have enough water. Those selfish thoughts didn’t allow me to focus on what others needed, and I wasn’t helping anyone. Once I stopped thinking about myself, I was able to help others and the trip changed my life. We weren't going there as tourists, or for a relaxing vacation, or to buy cool Panama hats, but to make a difference in the lives of the Panamanian people. While we were in their village, we helped them build buildings for a few days, but most of the time we were just present with them. I think that was the most important part. We didn't bring them gifts, or take them anywhere, and most of us couldn’t even speak their language, we just went where they were and poured our lives into theirs. That trip changed my perspective. I realized if I only focus on myself, it doesn’t do anyone any good. Also, we don’t need to gain people’s love by buying them a gift, or taking them some place enjoyable, but really all we have to do is show them we care to make a difference in their life. Recently, a book was published called, Kisses from Katie. The book was about a girl named Katie Davis, who had everything she wanted. She had the perfect boyfriend, was going to the perfect college, to get the perfect degree, to have the perfect job and later, to have the perfect life. She gave up all that to go to Africa to work with orphans, whose lives were far from perfect. She noticed that the orphans in Africa desperately needed someone to care for them, and she ended up adopting thirteen of them. Even though she could only adopt thirteen children out of the many millions, she is still making a difference in the lives of thirteen children. Davis said, “It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone.” Changing people’s lives doesn't always have to take place half way around the world like it did for Katie Davis. In order to make a difference where you are, you have to get over your own wants and look for people in need.
Maybe some of you have seen the man around Gig Harbor who wears camouflage clothing and pushes around a shopping cart full of all his possessions. My mom has been saying for a few weeks that she wanted to help him in some way. Last week she was driving and saw him outside of McDonald’s. She immediately turned out of the round-a-bout and went through the drive through to pick him up a savory Big Mac, fries, and coffee. She proceeded to give it to him and she said he ran up to the car and was so thankful for the food. She had a conversation with him, learning that he called himself Lord Jonathan, and he said, “There’s an empire on the rise, there’s a war in