Good can still be found

Published 5:06 pm Friday, July 22, 2016

Among the many things that I enjoy in life is cooking—particularly smoking, grilling, and frying outside (the cleaning up part I do not like, but that is a necessary part of it). This week I have been especially grateful that I know my way around the kitchen, since my wife has been away at kids’ camp with a bunch of high energy children.

A few weeks back, I put some meat in our electric smoker, set it up, and waited for it to do its work. When I returned to check on it a short time later, I discovered that it wasn’t working. I already wanted a new and improved smoker, so that presented me with the perfect opportunity! And to justify my purchase, it was time for our annual barbeque sandwich sale to help our children go to church camp.

After buying the new contraption, I finally got it put together. Interestingly, when I was all done, I noticed a statement with the instructions that said the estimated assembly time was twenty-five minutes. Without divulging more information than is necessary, I will only say that my assembly time was much greater than twenty-five minutes!

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I did a small test run with the latest addition to my outside cooking equipment and found that it worked pretty well, but the big test was yet to come. As Gale and the girls started selling tickets for the fundraiser, it grew into a bigger project than I anticipated. Admittedly, I was a bit uneasy about taking on such a project without having more experience with the new smoker, but by then, I was in it too deep to back out; I had to go forward. When it was all finished, I was pleased with the results; it passed the test.

But that project was more than just testing a new piece of equipment and raising needed funds for our kids. It was an opportunity to see some things more valuable than the needed monetary funds.

One of the things that I saw was the kids getting involved in the work and not just receiving a free handout. I was proud to see those girls with their caps on their heads and serving gloves on their hands working together in assembly line fashion to achieve something beneficial and important.

Another thing that I saw was the generosity and support of the community. Even though I originated in another part of the state, I have come to enjoy and appreciate the family atmosphere of our southwest corner. In a day when we hear of so many senseless atrocities taking place, it is refreshing to be reminded that there are still good people who have a heart to do good for others. It reminds me of the words of Galatians 6:10 where we are instructed: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (New International Version).

That little fundraising project will not make the national news, but it will always be an appreciated event in the lives of those young ladies who were able to go to camp with the help of the goodness of others. It also presents us all with a challenge to look for good in a world that is not so good, and to seek after opportunities to do good for others. Even little acts of kindness can make a huge difference in the life of the one receiving it.