Life’s Lessons

Making a difference

By Helen Guilford - For the Expositor

Remember last winter and the deep freeze cold? How I dreaded another one! And we have been so blessed this winter. Though schools are closed and wind chills promise to stay in the single digits as I write this column, this is the first bitter cold spell we’ve had so far this year. Still, I dreaded what I knew had to lie ahead. After all, this IS northwest Ohio!

Part of my dread lies in the fact that Kelly still needs her daily walks – partly for exercise and partly to take care of physical needs. I can stand the bitter cold for that length of time, though I do admit our walks are shorter in cold weather. However, since Kelly is an indoor animal, she is usually ready to get out of the cold as quickly as I am even when wearing her winter coat. (Yeah, I bought a winter coat for her and she loves it.)

The rest of the dread lay in the fact I couldn’t feel the heat radiating from the electric baseboard heaters. Even so, my electric bill was high!

Then, the other day I noticed when I was near the outside wall where the heater is located, there truly was heat coming out. Now, actually I knew there was because the house wasn’t freezing, but I really enjoy being toasty warm. What I discovered was the heat was being trapped near the wall by the long occasional table I had placed there.

I had often thought having insulated drapes over the windows would help, and I’m sure that’s true if one is careful the heat doesn’t get trapped behind the drapes. But the table was open and I didn’t consider heat being trapped under it. Nonetheless, I found that to be true.

Time to rearrange the furniture. I moved the offending table to a spot in the kitchen and put it to good use there. The platform rocker and recliner traded places so the recliner, which is where I sit, is by the window. Of course, I wanted my end table there as well. I tried that.

Then, I realized while that solid end table would not trap the heat, it would do a fine job of blocking it. So I exchanged it for a small open table to hold my lamp.

Did all my moving make a difference? Yes, it did! Not that I’m toasty on this bitter cold day, but at least I’m warmer than I would have been otherwise.

Now, you’re probably not especially interested in how my living room is arranged, but there really is a point to all this.

You see, what I did actually made a difference.

You and I are in the business of making a difference – whether we mean to or not.

Everything we do, every place we go, every word we speak makes a difference – either a positive difference or a negative difference.

Now, I believe we need to radiate the love to Christ to others. As has often been said, and I’ve even said it in this column, “Your (Christian) life may be the only Bible others will ever read.” Therefore, your life and mine need to exhibit Christ’s love. In what ways? Everything we do, every place we go, every word we speak.

Those are what make a difference.

Don’t let Jesus’ love be trapped or blocked by something in your life that needs cleaning. Take that offending habit to the foot of the cross. Present it along with other sins. Ask for freedom from whatever it is that traps or blocks your testimony.

Then, the difference your life makes will be in a positive direction.

Making a difference

By Helen Guilford

For the Expositor