The business world likes to see results. They forecast, plan, calculate the cost and benefit ratios, examine demographics. If there is a good indication that there will be results, the plan goes forward. But if not, the project is scrapped.
Faith inspires a different approach. Actions inspired by faith leave the assessment of results to God. To use an agricultural analogy, we plant seeds, water the plants and nurture fragile growth, but most often, we never see the harvest.
Mahatma Ghandi, whose very life inspires us to serve others, expressed it this way:
"It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing.
It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing.
You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."
This Sunday is Bee the Difference Day. Ambrosians, driven by a conviction about our Catholic, Diocesan mission and their own firm belief that they can make a difference, swarm our neighborhoods in service to others. Raking leaves and cleaning gutters might not seem world-altering to many, but such deeds might well be world-altering in the lives of the neighbor who is helped by them. Will we see the results? Probably not. But tiny actions do lead to larger ones that we may well not have ever envisioned if we had not done the tiny ones first.
Most of us will never see results from the service faith inspires us to do. Do it anyway. It's the only way to make a difference.