There is a phenomenon sweeping the nation where people are pledging their money to help raise funds for patients and organizations with ALS, a neurodegenerative disorder. It is commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the baseball player who had it. Originally started in the professional golfing world to raise money for various charities, it has become an internet sensation with people challenging others to douse themselves with ice water sending millions of dollars in donations to the ALS Association. Many have done this (including this author) showing solidarity and support for a worthy cause. There can be no doubt to the impact in years to come as this most ingenious way to bring awareness to the challenges many people face in life and a simple means to raise money. The key element in the success of this program is the amount of people who are not contributing millions or thousands of dollars for the cause but rather the small donations that add up to millions of dollars.
Everyone knows the fury of an avalanche is not because one snowflake but millions of snowflakes joined together as one that creates a force that is able to move anything in its path. A rainstorm has its greatest power when all the drops of rain become a torrent of rushing water. The principle is simple: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). The power of what a single element of leaven can do to the whole lump is the impact such a small thing can have. Who would have dreamed that a simple act of pouring ice water over the head would raise millions of dollars? What a worthy and noble cause. How important these acts of kindness are goes without saying. But let’s take this story a little further.
Consider the power of salt and light. Small grains of salt can change the taste of food and a candle light can be seen for miles. Combining the impact of single grains of salt and a single candle can bring great seasoning to foods and light up the world. Jesus taught, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16). Salt is used for seasoning and as people of God we bring a spiritual flavor to our community. As people of light we shine forth our lights to show the glory of God living in us. The challenge before us is to take the salt out of the shaker and let its influence spread to those we come in contact with. Our lights are not to be hidden but shining brightly to let others see Christ.
If we could instill in our hearts the same devotion and interest in bringing someone to Christ as pouring ice water over our heads what a difference the world would be. Please understand the difference of the two: the cause for ALS is a most honorable and worthy pursuit and we should encourage everyone to be a part of the community of those who can help – but think of what we can accomplish in the body of Christ if we were committed to help bring one person to Christ this year. The leaders of the ALS organization were stunned at the amount of money raised by such a simple act of pouring ice water on the heads of thousands of people. Think what the church would be if everyone would make it their desire to help bring one person to Christ each year. You can do the math and you will be stunned.
There is a question that begs to be asked: how many souls have been influenced to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ by our lives? It is easy to look at the world and think that saving the world is impossible. Jesus did say that only the few were going to be saved (Matthew 7:13-14) and often we may decide that the few are going to be saved by others. The sad reality is that if half of us would help bring one person to Christ what a difference the world would be. Sometimes the greater challenge to evangelizing the world is the silence of the few who could speak to the many and fails to do so. Many are lost not because of the roar of the world but the silence of the saints.
Can everyone sit down and unfold the pages of God’s word with a full explanation of what a person must do to be saved? Sadly, no. But the admonition is to be a ‘helper’ of winning souls. Homes can be opened to Bible studies where individuals are brought together to share the saving news of Jesus Christ. Contacts are made to connect people with others helping them come to a full knowledge of truth. Invitations are given to visit with the local congregation and offering transportation making it possible. Encouraging young people into the home and letting them be involved with inviting others to Christ. And then learning how to talk with others about the salvation found in Jesus Christ. Sometimes people say they don’t know what to tell someone about how to become a Christian. It is simple – tell them why you became a child of God and how it has changed your life. Everyone can tell that story!
There are millions of dollars being raised by random acts of people pouring water on their heads. There can be many people in our community who can come to know the saving power of God by the selfless act of one person inviting one person to sit down at the dining room table and studying the word of God. Raising money for ALS is a noble cause. Saving souls for Christ has an eternal reward.