After Acts 16 to 20, now the second half of the “40acts challenge” to do Lent generously.

(In red was what the challenge said to do and in blue was what crossed my mind when I read it…followed by what I actually did do)

act #21: simplify

‘I’ve got the latest iPhone 4S, a Blackberry for work, an iPad 2 for playing games, an Amazon Kindle for reading books, an old Android phone stuck in a drawer, a sewing machine in the loft, a smoothie-maker at the back of the kitchen cupboard…’ We’re living in a consumerist age, there’s no doubt about it. But how much of the stuff you own is really necessary? Do your possessions actually own you? Take a ruthless look at the things you’ve accumulated. Give the stuff you don’t use to someone who will really appreciate it or donate it to a charity. It’s generous and it’ll mean you have less stuff to dust. Ask yourself, what could I get rid of that would clear space to live for God more wholeheartedly?

Hurm, I don’t own that much stuff – nothing significantly expensive for sure…

What I actually did do:

This will need some thinking. As far as gadgets are concerned, I only have 2 phones for 2 lines (neither is the most expensive/latest gadget either), a decent netbook, an external harddisk and a point-and-shoot camera. Nothing more than the basics. I suppose I have more clothes than what I need though. Will look into donating those on the next donation drive at church.

Verdict: Done

act #22: make someone smile

The human brain is automatically wired to be more attracted to smiling faces, and there’s a reason for it – smiles are brilliant. They also boost your immune system. Whether you make someone smile simply by being considerate – holding a door open, or offering them the last Rolo – or whether you deliberately go out of your way, today is your day to put a smile on someone’s face.

No problemo.

What I actually did do:

I can’t pinpoint to any major act but although I don’t make people ROFL, I do make people smile everyday.

Verdict: Done

act #23: pay a visit

Know someone in hospital or in a nursing home? Perhaps you haven’t visited your grandparents lately, or haven’t checked in with that neighbour down the road in a while. Put some time in your diary and make it a priority today. Being visited is a lovely way to feel cared for.

There are so many ways to contact someone these days – texting, email, Facebook, Twitter – sometimes actually seeing someone in person (or even phoning them) falls to the bottom of the list. We tend to opt for the method that is quickest and most convenient for us, but is that always the method that makes the other person feel the most loved? Who in your life would appreciate a visit from you today? An old friend you haven’t seen in a while? Someone from church who is having a tough time? An elderly neighbour who doesn’t get out much?

No one I know of that’s in the hospital or nursing home at the mo…

What I actually did do:

Come to think of it, this is quite a challenge. Visiting others now seem to only happen during the festivities. Hurm, will look into this & if I don’t manage to do it before Lent is over, I’ll do it sometime during the Easter season – definitely!

Verdict: Done

act #24: pick up litter

As soon as the first human tossed their apple core aside, so the problem of litter began. Next time you see a crisp packet floating across your path, consider picking it up and telling it where to go. Make today a ‘war on litter day’, carry a spare bag around with you. Why not organise a litter picking group at work or school and go out once a week and pick up litter around your work or school area?

The last time I had “litter duty” was when I was back in school…

What I actually did do:

We had a cleaning campaign in church today. Our young adults & youths were assigned to cleaning all the plastic chairs in church. But apart from the cleaning campaign, I have ocassionally picked up litter, though not all the time…More conscious effort from now onwards!

Verdict: Done

act #25: arrive on time

Lateness, without genuine reason, says ‘I’m more important than you’. If you’ve ever had to sit around waiting for someone who said they’d arrive half an hour ago, you’ll know how annoying it is. Set your alarm 15 minutes early, get organised the night before, and get there. On time. Preferably with a smile on your face. If you’re always the last one to get to a meeting, try making an effort to be the first one there – which might even mean arriving early. Avoid the ‘running a few minutes late’ text by arriving 10 minutes before you’re supposed to meet a friend.

I’m not always the last one…

What I actually did do:

I tried my best to be the first to come to meetings…there are still others more punctual than me, but at least I’m one of the early birds.

Verdict: Done

25 acts – that’s 15 more to go!

And acts 26 to 30 will be published tomorrow. Stay tuned! 😉

40 days, 40 reflections, 40 simple acts…