Volunteers show us the path to happiness
Just a few days before the big $1.3 billion Powerball draw, I asked a volunteer in my church what he would do if he won even a smaller amount like a million bucks. His answer was priceless!
But before I tell you what his response was, let me tell you what kind of man he is. He’s the sort of guy who hops on a bus every day at 6:00am and rides it over to the church to volunteer for a whole host of jobs that need support. Chances are if you’ve held the church’s newsletter in your hands, he’s one of the ones who assembled it and mailed it out to you. If you’ve walked on the clean sidewalk outside the church in the dead of winter, he’s the one who shoveled it. If you’ve held a bulletin in your hand on a Sunday morning or at a wedding or even a funeral, he’s the one who carefully folded it and stuffed it full of inserts. If you came to the church to get a bag full of food for you and your family because you were hungry and broke, he’s one of the ones who prayerfully packed it and then got it ready for you to pick-up during our Friday morning food program.
He’s there on Easter when half of America heads South to a beach for spring break. He’s there on Thanksgiving and all of the other major holidays, too. One Christmas Eve, just before the late service got started, I thanked him for giving us so much of his time, especially at Christmas. He just smiled and said, “Where else would I be? This is my family, and this is my Christmas!”
To me, its volunteers like him, the millions of people in America who volunteer, day in and day out, out of the goodness of their hearts and never with complaint, who who offer us some of our greatest life lessons. Most importantly, they remind us where the road to happiness truly lies. Its not about winning, or getting ahead, or being first, or having the most, or even having more. Happiness is really about being with the people you love and who love you back. Its about finding your purpose and giving everything you’ve got to that purpose because doing what you love helps you love the ones you’re with.
I wish he could win a million bucks, though, just so the universe could smile down on him with a great cosmic “thank you.” Thank you for reminding us of what selflessness looks like. Thank you for stepping-up when so many others back down. Thank you for being the sort of guy who makes others feel like a million bucks.
The volunteers of this world make everyone’s lives richer because of their generosity of spirit. They are the backstory and the motivation behind our 30 second Power2ools video on NBC-WKYC Cleveland this week, Powerball Happiness. Its our simple and humble way of saying, “Thanks for being you! The world greatly appreciates you and so do we.”
So, what did he say when I asked him what he would do if he won a million dollars? He said, “Ya, I could live with a million dollars. But I’m even happier knowing I can live without it!”
Do you want to be happy? Then worry less about how much money you have in the bank and get more focused on how much love you have in your heart. In the meantime, thank a volunteer today. Or better yet, become one!
Dr. Mark Giuliano, Pastor
The Old Stone Church, Cleveland