23 April 2019 - Athens, Tennessee
The top three items that I listed at the beginning of 2019 on the “growing edges” part of my 2019 intentions sheet were 1) “deeper trust in God’s provision”, 2) “become excellent at receiving”, and 3) “success in fundraising”. I am realizing now that there is a common thread running through all three of these, and that is I also needed to get better - more adept, really - at asking.
Those who have known me for a long time will tell you that I have enjoyed serving and giving for a long time, but I am not very good at asking. I have been reluctant to ask for directions at times, afraid to just come right out and say, “Hey, can you help me with this project?”, slow to say at church, “Would you be willing to change a pattern so that we can achieve __________ this year?”
And so it is that I set off on a walk across the United States on March 4 without having many things figured out beforehand, like where I would be sleeping on many of the nights, where I would be speaking, and what would be my best strategies for raising $6 million or even $600,000 for these four charities that all do wonderful work with and on behalf of children.
Last night when I went to bed I didn’t know where I was going to be sleeping. A woman who hosted me the night before said she could reach out to someone she knew who lived near Calhoun, Tennessee, but when she left a message, she didn’t get a response. So, this morning, at 7 am, I began my day by asking last night’s hosts, George and Kathy Krauss, if I could stay one more night with them in Athens, Tennessee. This would involve some additional commitment on their part, namely including George not only taking me back to yesterday’s finishing point this morning, but also picking me up at the end of my walk today, and driving me back to that point tomorrow morning to resume my walk again. George said yes right away, and added, “Calhoun isn’t very far!” (Of course, it’s a little different if you are walking there!) Before leaving this morning, I came back upstairs to my bedroom, feeling over the moon because I had another night of lodging lined up, a lighter pack to carry today (since I’m returning to the same place for another night), and wowed once again by how gracious and generous folks have been since I began this project.
There are a number of places where Jesus encourages his disciples to ask. Perhaps the verses you are most familiar with are Matthew 7:7-8 (“Ask… search… knock…”) Another verse I love is this one where Paul writes to the Philippians: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Of course, God often brings about his purposes through people, so there comes a time when we must be willing to ask people, too!
So… I’m going to ask a few more questions.
Would you like to help some children who haven’t had the best start in the world have a bright future by supporting them in getting the food and shelter that they need each day, the medical attention, the mentoring from adults who know what they are going through, access to clean water in their village that will help them be healthy, or access to summer camps or leadership training that will help them grow in faith and gain confidence as they move to adulthood? That is what giving to 6 Million Steps for Kids can accomplish.
Another question: How many of my 6 million steps do you feel called to sponsor - to help children - at 10 cents a step? 1,000 steps? 500 steps? 250 steps? 500 steps each month - $50 a month - for the duration of my walk?
Yes, I know I am getting better at asking as I do this walk. God is giving me plenty of opportunities to practice!
Will you go make a donation that helps children? Thank you!
I am grateful to God and to so many people for what I have already received. I have received… because I have asked. And, are you ready for even more good news? Sometimes people gave, and I didn’t even ask!