But I’m Too Busy to Help

[Note: Published date updated to reflect date this was originally written.]

12 March 2002

Trinity is a volunteer organization. We have a few paid people, several who are underpaid, to take care of some of the work but there is not enough of them to go around. Our church is governed by the Session, sixteen volunteers. Our church work is done by the many committees. Our income is freely given by volunteers. The people in the chairs on Sunday morning are…volunteers. So the next time you are asked to do something for the church, remember, without your help, the work would not get done.

I’ve meet very few people at Trinity who were not busy. Some have said they had the time but I knew they were just being polite. They may have been unemployed at the time or retired but they still had commitments to be fulfilled to others. And it always seems that the people who are the busiest are the ones who quickly agree to do more. I know they are the one’s we keep going back to ask for help.

I’ve wondered why the one’s who do the most seem to be the one’s who never say no and always get the job done. Last night I think I found the answer. While flipping through Bill Bennett’s book, The Moral Compass, I ran across this poem. The author was not identified so I can only assume it was written by the prolific Anonymous, perhaps a volunteer. Read the poem and I think you will understand why we keep asking the same people to help. And please feel free to substitute woman, child, layperson, professional, gardener, or whatever you please. Trinity, perhaps more than most churches, realizes that we all have valuable contributions to make…as volunteers.

The Busy Man

If you want to get a favor done
By some obliging friend,
And want a promise, safe and sure,
On which you may depend,
Don’t go to him who always has
Much leisure time to plan,
But if you want your favor done,
Just ask the busy man.

The man with leisure never has
A moment he can spare,
He’s always “putting off” until
His friends are in despair.
But he whose every waking hour
Is crowded full of work
Forgets the art of wasting time,
He cannot stop to shirk

So when you want a favor done,
And want it right away,
Go to the man who constantly
Works twenty hours a day.
He’ll find a moment, sure, somewhere,
That has no other use.
And help you, while the idle man
Is framing an excuse.

William J. Bennett, The Moral Compass, Page 615.

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