What does it mean to ‘Pay it Forward

What does it mean to “Pay It Forward?” There is a sad, but beautiful movie by that name about a little boy named Trevor who gets an assignment from his middle school social studies teacher to change the world. The teacher asks the class, “What does the world mean to you?” “Why should we think about the world?” What does the world expect of you?

And the teacher gives the class a year-long assignment to change the world. He tells them to take the things that we don’t like about the world and flip them upside-down. And he tells the class that it is possible to change the world; and that the realm of possibility exists within each of us.

Changing the world is exactly what Jesus Christ did when He came into the world. He asked his disciples to do things that may have seemed a bit crazy to them. He asked them to leave everything that they owned and to follow Him, to feed five thousand people with two fish and five loaves of bread, to fish in empty waters, to stay calm during a life-threatening storm, to eat with sinners, and perhaps the most crazy of all, to love our neighbors as ourselves.

The disciples tried to follow where Jesus led them, they did what Jesus asked of them even though sometimes they didn’t really understand; and even though sometimes the things Jesus asked didn’t even make any sense to them. Jesus has called us to be His disciples, to follow him and to do what he asks of us.

In the movie, “Pay It Forward, Trevor changes the world. He takes what seems like a simple idea and changes the world. I would like to suggest that we each try to do what Trevor did. Trevor decided to do kind things for three people asking only that they “Pay It Forward” to three other people who will do likewise, and so on and so on. Trevor made a diagram for his teacher to show that each additional person who does these acts of kindness to three others quickly becomes exponentially huge.

The acts of kindness that Trevor did were simple and easy to do. Can you imagine what would happen if each person reading this today would try this experiment. We could change the world starting in Fulton County. It would not be hard to do; and we would be following what Jesus said was the greatest commandment. I think it would make a lot of people smile, and I know that it will make God smile.

What do you think? Let’s try it! I would ask you to let me know the results, but I won’t have to, because I will be able to see in. Let’s begin by changing our part of the world, Fulton County and who knows where it will go from there?

By the Rev. Bonnie M. Orth, 119 Northampton Drive, Gloversville; (518) 209-2056; e-mail: [email protected]

By Josh Bovee

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