“Do all you can, with all you have, in the time you have, in the place you are”

I recently came across this quote. “Do all you can, with all you have, in the time you have, in the place you are”. (Nkosi Johnson S. African advocate for children with HIV: died age 12).

The quote got me to thinking about what I can do, about what I have to offer, about the time I have to invest, and about where I am at any given moment. It was a good challenge. I (we) have a great deal to offer, I (we) have the time to offer, and I (we) are in the places to offer it. It doesn’t really require much more than I (we) have already been investing except perhaps the awareness and the willingness to offer it—unless you consider love and empathy as requiring a lot. 

Nkosi’s message is profound. What an awareness for a 12 year-old. Should it be considered profound? Or, should it be normal? Oh that it would be more common! What would I (we) need to do to make it operative in my life? I think it would require some self-honesty, self-reflection, self-evaluation, and a commitment; especially a commitment to make love operative in my life. What am I capable of doing? What do I have to offer? What time do I have? In what place am I? How is my love for others?

What can I (we) do? Much more than might I (we) might initially consider. Each of has tremendous resources. What are we doing with those resources? Jesus, as recorded in scripture, talks about “giving a cup of water in my name” (Matthew 10:42 and Mark 9:41). We are told in Matthew 25: 40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”. The exact opposite is also true. We read in Matthew 25: 45, “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Whatever we have to give is important. To give, or not to give, has significant–even eternal–consequences: Not just to the one to whom we might give, but the ultimate Giver.