Last week I spoke to a man who is part of a service organization called “The Wood Ministry.”
The group chops, delivers, and stacks wood for people in need. Last winter it was so cold and snowy in New Hampshire that this small band of volunteers cut, delivered, and stacked 30 cords of donated wood – and it still wasn’t enough! Wood went to families with small children, some to disabled veterans, and many to infirm elderly who were too sick to hire or cut wood themselves.
I wonder what happens to people when no one notices they need help?
I was also curious – why does this man choose to spend his time this way?
“Well, I like doing it.”
He quoted Joseph Campbell and his infamous “follow your bliss.”
We often we think of serving God as something solemn and serious, but bliss doesn’t have to be that way. We should do the things that make us happy in life – but does it end there? How do we get from happy to blissful?
The wood man said: Find what you love to do, what you’re meant to do with your one precious chance at life. And then use it to bless others.
Personal experience confirms this is true. I’ve never been happier than when I’ve made someone else happy.
Or as Jean Valjean of Les Miserables sings, to love another person is to see the face of God.
The conversation of bliss has stayed with me. I ponder my own gifts and how exactly I’m using them.
Instead of only focusing on my own PR while running the next 5k, perhaps I can also inspire a child to move, motivate a mother to sign up for a race, or look at the person beside me on the course – way to go, dude! let’s get there together!
There are millions of gifts – compassion, conversation, fashion, teaching, cooking, mathematics, writing, laughter, a quick wit, music, quick reflexes, baking, listening, swimming, plant identification, fatherhood, sensitivity…
I wonder if most of the world’s problems could be solved if we just followed our bliss?
“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”