I’m really excited to let folks know that we have a new trade that’s taken place in our effort to feed 5000 people. In case you haven’t been following. I’m trying to “feed the multitudes” as part of my year-plus-long #MyJesusProject, in which I’m trying to better understand what it really means to follow Jesus in our world today. But rather than starting with five fish and two loaves of bread, I started out with six copies of my own books and offered them for a trade, hoping we’d get something of greater value to trade up for something else, and so on, until we had something of great enough value (hopefully worth $25,000-$30,000) that we could use to feed at least 5,000 people.
- So we started with six books and traded them for a Trek mountain bike.
- Then we traded the bike for a $2000 manuscript editing and book cover design service.
- Today, we traded that package for a new custom website, valued at $4000.
This includes 5-7 custom built website pages (either in Square Space or WordPress, done by a professional career graphic designer who has done much of my own graphic and web work for and with me.) This also includes full website design, copywriting support and overall content editing. Could be ideal for an author or any small business trying to establish an online presence, increase their Search Engine Optimization, integrate a blog into their site or even dive into e-commerce. Would be great for a Church (lord knows their sites need help) or a nonprofit too. Basically, if you have any professional endeavor of your own, you’re lost without a website. So here’s your opportunity to build one from the ground up with one of the best designers I know.
I know, I know, your first reaction is, but I don’t have anything to trade!” But the fact is, every single person who has made a trade said the same thing at one point before getting creative and coming up with something. So think beyond just “stuff” and consider how many things of value you have around you, much of which you may not even be using, like:
- Unused airline miles
- Timeshare points
- An old vehicle (Car, ATV, Truck)
- Vacation rental property
- Other professional services (lawyers, accountants, artists, housekeepers, babysitters…)
All of this also raises an interesting theological question to about what constitutes a miracle. If we start with six books and feed 5000 people (or, I hope, many more than that), is it a miracle? Does it have to be “magic” for it to be a miracle?
And even in the context of the Gospel story in which Jesus feeds 5000 (actually way more because they didn’t bother to count women and children), it’s assumed that Jesus performs some sort of magic trick and makes the food multiply. But for starters, it was his food to begin with; it came from a kid who donated it for the cause. Was that a miracle? And what if the real miracle was that people’s hearts were changed in the moment, and they shifted form a mentality of scarcity to one of plenty and radical generosity, giving up what they had to share with their neighbor?
And what if, lo and behold, once everyone got over their “I don’t really have anything” mentality and let go, there was more than enough for everyone?
Now, you tell me: which one sounds like the greater miracle to you?
Regardless of how you answer, I find greater hope in the latter possibility, namely because it can be replicated, over and over again, when we choose to make it so. And perhaps this is what Jesus was getting at when he said we would do far greater things than he did. So maybe we’re thinking too small here. Maybe feeding 5,000 is just a starting point. Consider your role in this miracle in the making, and then respond accordingly.