Like many abolitionists who use their early mornings, evenings, and weekends for anti-trafficking work, I have a day job. Some days when I get home from work, I am exhausted and overwhelmed by the tasks that lay before me – whether it be fundraising for our documentary, writing letters to MPs, preparing for awareness events, researching, blogging, or catching up on emails. I hunker down to get it done, but before I know it, it is midnight and I feel I’ve only gotten started.
Have you ever felt this way? Like your intentions are good but your time is limited? Like your lack of resources hinder you from ‘really’ making a difference? Like you don’t know enough about an issue to tell others about it? My abolitionist friend Kat and I talked this weekend about how sometimes we feel guilty that we don’t know all the answers, because we don’t want to betray someone’s trust by leaving out an important piece of information or misguiding them on a matter we have simply not had time to research or experience yet. I’m only speaking for myself, but feeling overwhelmed can be absolutely crippling.
Instead of allowing myself to feel frustrated, last week I came to the following conclusion after listening to a message by Craig Groschel:
I will not let my inability to do EVERYTHING make me do NOTHING instead of SOMETHING.
I have a notebook where I record all the things I do to fight human trafficking, just so I can stay organized, track progress, and remind myself of important things. I got out a big black marker and wrote the following on the cover:
Some days, my “something” fills a page and I crash into bed with the exhilarating feeling that maybe, just maybe, I changed the world that day. Other days I am only able to fill in a line, which could be something as simple as writing a note of encouragement to someone on the front lines, or adding tags to a blog post, or reading half an article on sex trafficking. Writing it down reminds me that though my responsibility is not to do everything, it is my stewardship and responsibility to do something.
What does this look like for you? Whether your passion is to fight human trafficking, or serve the sick, or adopt an orphan, or teach kids, or mentor teens, or lead with excellence, or feed the hungry, or tell redemptive stories, or volunteer abroad, or write poems, or comfort the mourning, or help people in conflict zones, or support those struggling through mental illness, please don’t let your inability to do everything make you do nothing instead of something.
Maybe you could start by getting a notebook and a big fat marker, writing your reminder on the cover, and filling your first line.