Recently, I heard a story about a grocery store bagger named Johnny, who had just returned from a seminar sponsored by his company. Three thousand co-workers—truck drivers, cashiers, stockers and other front-line workers—from the chain had gathered to hear employee motivation expert Barbara Glanz, who had challenged them to find their mission in life and to make a difference to others, regardless of what their job entailed.
Johnny, a young man with Down syndrome, took the challenge to heart. He talked with his father and decided that he wanted to find a positive statement each day and share it with others. His plan was to type each day’s saying on his computer, run 300 copies, cut them into single strips, personally sign each one of them and drop them into the last bag of each customer in the grocery line. He then greeted each customer in his line by sharing with them that one of their bags contained something to help them have a great day.
One month later, the store manager noticed that several lines were open, but people had lined up in only one line … Johnny’s line! They lined up all the way back to the frozen food section just to get a note from him. In fact, his acts of kindness changed the way every department within that store viewed their roles. The floral team took broken-stemmed flowers, trimmed them, and pinned them on grandmas and little girls. In similar ways, other departments found new ways to encourage people.
Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV). The best way to find your mission is to make other people your mission. There is no secret to ministry fulfillment. The need is great. Problems abound. People are hurting. Pain is common. Committing ourselves to becoming an extension of the grace, mercy, love and hope that we have received releases an amazing gift to those most in need.
Have you contributed positively to anyone’s life today? Try it! Share a compliment or speak a blessing. You may be the light that helps someone find their way out of darkness or the voice that helps clarify a way out of confusion. Go ahead—Jesus has already commissioned you to act on His behalf!
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor