Not “Bigger and Better”

cupcakes flickr fpramparo

It was last day of working at the Boys and Girls Club, a program that I helped re-launch at the beginning of 2011. Just weeks earlier, I made a decision to leave that job, even without knowing what I would do next. (PS — God did come through for me with these four jobs.) But I did know that my wife and I were committed to the well-being of children in Allendale County.

On this final Club day of the semester, the children led a special Christmas-themed program, in which we invited parents and organization leaders. The children did a fantastic job, of course.

Near the end of the evening, one of the organization leaders spoke to the audience. She thanked me for my work that year, and wished me the best. But what she said next infuriated me, and it was only by the grace of the Holy Spirit that I did not react immediately.

She said, “Mr. Joey is moving on to bigger and better things.”

Untrue and Unwise

I saw this person the next day, and I told her why I think that wasn’t a truthful or wise thing to say. I explained that I was not leaving because I had a “better thing” lined up, and she knew that.

But mostly, I was upset because these children had been hearing and experiencing that their entire lives. Over and over, adults whom they had grown to love had left their lives. Parents had split apart. Teachers found better-paying jobs in more stable school districts. Friends left as their moms or dads got better jobs.

Bigger and better things. Whether it’s true or not, just the perception of that idea can open old wounds.

What Really Is Bigger and Better?

I hesitated to tell this story, because it could come off as vindictive or bitter towards the person who said that. But I’m not.

I’m telling this because I was concerned about something I wrote last week, in The Big Announcement. I wrote how cool it is that living and working in Allendale for the past 3.5 years has helped prepare us for the next step in our adventure.

I said it then, but I want to be clear. We did not come to Allendale with the intention of using it as a stepping stone. We are not using Allendale for our benefit and then “moving on to bigger and better things.”

Sure, Greenville is bigger, but we don’t see our next step as better. It’s just different. It’s not better because our ultimate purpose is not focused on any specific place or any kind of program.

Our mission is about loving God and loving others. These two great commandments supersede the Great Commission.

So, do you see why we are not moving on to “bigger and better things”? Because God is just as big and great in Allendale as He is in Greenville, or anywhere. And people are equally as valuable in Allendale, Greenville, and everywhere.

We are not moving onto bigger and better things, because we serve a God that is infinitely big and great, and He created all people in His image as infinitely valuable.

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**image courtesy of fpramparo via flickr


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2 responses to “Not “Bigger and Better””

  1. Linda Ellis says :

    Joey – Keep the communication open with us at First Pres Church in Hilton Head – we look forward to continue working with you – God only knows how or when –
    God’s continued many Blessings to you and your beautiful family,

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