Faith Reflections

Why I Won't Win a Nobel Peace Prize

Bob Goff and graduates of Restore Academy in Gulu, Uganda

One of my most favorite Twitter feeds is Bob Goff (@bobgoff). Bob is the founder and president of Restore International, a non-profit organization that pursues audacious ways to restore justice to children and the poorest of the poor around the world. Restore is comprised of a dedicated group of people committed to ending human rights abuses towards children by moving from awareness of injustice, to action.  They go into the courts in countries like Uganda and India to be the voice for the voiceless and to provide support and a defense for children in the justice systems. Restore also has schools and dedicated programs helping children and the poorest of the poor to pursue their dreams.  I’m always inspired and encouraged by the updates from Restore about children that have been freed and given a new lease on life because of the dedicated work of the Restore team throughout the world – not just the US team but especially the local workers in the various countries.

You may know a little about Bob Goff from the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Miller writes of Goff quite a bit throughout the book and it is easy to see why so many individuals, like myself, look up to Goff.  You can tell from Miller’s words that Goff has a larger than life personality and is wringing every bit of life out of the life he has been given.  I love that about him.  If anyone can make you want to get off the couch, Bob Goff can.
Getting off the couch is the hardest thing. Whether we are speaking of exercise or new habits or taking your faith to the next level.  The couch has a suction power like no other and our biggest fight is not with our thoughts or our hearts but with our actions.  Goff drove that point home in a recent tweet that convicted me:

Sometimes it feels like thinking about someones suffering is the same as doing something about it. Don’t take the bait.

If I was rewarded for thinking about helping people, I would probably be up for a Nobel Peace Prize. If my reward is based on my doing, then I better be content with the free mint I get when I leave the local mexican restaurant.  In Bob’s words, I take the bait.  I fall for a convicted heart being enough but its clearly not by both Christian and human standards. In the words of country music star Toby Keith, we need a little less talk and a lot more action.
Some of my friends, in moments of insanity, committed to run a marathon and they followed a little program called “The Couch to 5k.” It basically breaks down step-by-step how someone can move (literally) from permanent bondage with their favorite couch to completing a small marathon within a short period of time. It removes all excuses and literally tells you what you should do every day.
Some of us need the same thing for moving from thinking about helping others to actually doing something about it. I don’t know of something exactly like a Couch to 5k but there are a few helps out there that can help us take action in our everyday lives

  • Websites like One.org and theResolve.org help inform us of global issues and how we can influence our government representatives in these causes.
  • The Global Poverty Projectis an educational and campaigning organisation that activates citizens to be a part of the global movement to end extreme poverty. They have lots of great ideas on steps to take in our everyday lives to end extreme poverty.
  • Buy Fair Trade products and support organizations that provide opportunities, business ventures, and micro-financing for individuals throughout the world to make a living and support their families without being dependent on government or NGO handouts.

Do you have any suggestions for getting off the couch and into the action of making a difference?  What has helped you get up off the couch?

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