I’ve had to call on my village quite a bit already this year. In thinking about them today and celebrating how grateful I am, I thought about what exactly it is that I’m thankful for. I also thought about what it takes to be a good villager.
Good villages don’t happen by accident. Over the weekend, one of my new villagers granted me a huge favor. Totally undeserved and unmerited, but he did it any way. And he did it with joy. That trips my “pay it forward switch” and inspires me to find meaningful ways to bless others. Favors are a way of intentionally building a village.
I can actively bless my village by being a good villager.
Here are a few things you can count on from me.
I will work intently to always think the best about you. I believe Waylon Jennings got it right, and you are good- hearted men and women, doing the very best you can. Some of us haven’t met in person yet, but be assured, I already know your heart is good.
Every village has a couple of crazies. I promise you there will be times I’ll be one of them. I’ll make mistakes, I’ll hurt your feelings, misunderstand and sometimes my hair can be big and wild. But I also guarantee this, if you speak the truth in love, I’ll listen, mean it when I say “I’m sorry” and I’ll try to do better. You should know though, that 80’s hair is one of my favorite things in the world and non- negotiable.
When you’re feeling crazy, I’ll stand by you, I’ll speak the truth in love and every day will be a new day. If we have trouble in the night, I’ll fully expect joy in the morning. If you need me during the crazy period, I’ll bring my comb and some Aqua Net. We’ll get you fixed up in a jiffy.
When we are together, I will look you in the eye, I’ll listen, trust you and enjoy your presence. At the same time, I’ll respect your space, privacy and personal rights. If I have a question, I’ll come to you first and won’t ask others about your life.
I’ve got a fightin’ side that I try to use for good. It’s one of those superpowers we all have that can go either way. If I see an injustice against the elderly, minorities or children I won’t quit until it’s right, period. I will organize large groups for the greater good of the village and we’ll have some good music and great food while we work together to make today’s corner of the world a better place.
I will use that fight to storm Heaven for you, and will pray for anything you need, anytime.
Finally, you should know, your past is just that, your past. It’s not who you are, it’s simply things you’ve done, good and bad.
Remember, I already know who you are and I like you.
Actually I love you and I thank God every day for you.
What about you? How’s your village working out for you? Are there things you could do to make it a better place for all?