Cover Story Good Advice Feature Video Hot Topics


Hot topic of the week

Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

What do YOU think?

Click here join in the discussion.

Web Bonus

From Selfies to Selfless

by Josue Sanchez

Today’s bonus comes in the form of a “wanderlist.” With it, you’ll be able to orchestrate (wand/baton) a bunch of initiatives (list) that will shape your summer in a wanderful way (I know it’s misspelled, but if you had my strong Spanish-French mashed-up accent, it’d make sense in a funny kind of way). Now, as you read it through, keep in mind that the whole point of this “wanderlist” is to help you move from selfies to selfless.

Enough wordplay. Here’s the list:

Become a camp counselor.
You and an army of mosquitoes will make a difference in the lives of a bunch of children who will test your mental endurance and give it new limits. Forget the messy cabin full of smelly shoes and dirty laundry. Think of them as innocent little rascal creatures (not critters) with personal stories that could break your heart. Remember that some of them come from abusive, broken homes and need a good role model who will give them a reason to smile and want to know Jesus better and love Him more.

Adopt an elder. No need for official adoption paperwork here. Call it an emotional adoption. That’s when you care so much for a person who is not related to you that you selflessly invest time and energy taking care of their needs. Scan your neighborhood for seniors. Don’t be creepy about it, but find one or more people who live alone and will allow you to mow their lawn, pick up the newspapers left on the driveway, bake them homemade bread, wash their dishes and windows, clean their homes, cook them food, and so on. You could also sit with them on their porch and ask them to tell you stories from their younger years—they will love that.

Go green. Plant a tree. Grow tomatoes. Even better, plant a neighborhood garden or a few trees for all to enjoy. You’ll probably need some permits to do that, so ask an adult to help you with the legal stuff. But that’d be kind of cool, don’t you think? You could make flyers and invite your block’s neighbors to a barbecue. Then pick each other’s brain to come up with some ideas, such as planting brussels sprouts. Or not.

Create your own nonprofit organization.
Entrepreneurship at its finest. What about launching a campaign to recycle electronics? Most people have old gadgets tossed in a corner of their garage or attic—cell phones, keyboards, mice (real ones too, probably), computers, CRT monitors . . . you name it! People often don’t have time to take them to the local recycling facilities. You could collect them for a small fee to cover your expenses (including a business card, recycling fees, etc.).

Join an organization.
Running out of ideas? There’s nothing new under the sun, and lots of people share the same interest as you, so why not join them?, for example, is the country’s largest not-for-profit for young people and social change. Or, join WeCare Missions (, a mission trip initiative from Andrews University that will take you to such places as Belize, Guatemala, or the latest disaster-stricken area.

All these suggestions aim to follow God’s view of how we should spend our time. Remember how we talked about “Enoch-ifying” ourselves? Well, now’s the time to walk the talk. It will all fall into place: you spend time with God, which helps you choose the right friends and avoid unnecessary drama (putting a hold on dating). This will give you a full summer to think outside the box and to step out of your comfort zone while helping others. Yup, moving from selfies to selfless—quite an adventure.

The sky’s the limit! (Get it? Sky . . . heaven . . . God . . . OK, I’ll stop now.) Here’s to a great and unselfish summer!

Josue Sanchez is a youth pastor and freelance writer from Ontario, Canada.

Top | Home