Well, I suppose it was just a matter of time. This week I was nominated to do the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”. To be very honest, I was not keen. Not because I don’t support the cause (I do) but because I rebel against these types of conformance fads. “Movember” is another. I definitely don't participate in that one!
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has swept Canada and beyond. Those of you who are on Facebook know what I am talking about. You will, by now, be inundated with video clips of celebrities, politicians and even your own Facebook friends dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads. If by some chance you’re not on Facebook, or you don’t watch daytime television let me fill you in.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an effort to raise funds for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. It's an extremely devastating neuro-degenerative condition that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Now get this: between July 29 and August 21, the ALS Association had received over $70 million in donations, compared to just $2.1 million during the same time period last year. That’s incredible. It is a perfect example of how social media outreach can be a benefit. There is no doubt that this phenomenon has been an unmitigated success for the ALS Association.
The Ice Bucket Challenge process is simple: once you're nominated by someone, you have 24 hours to complete the task of dumping a bucket of ice water over your head. You then pass it along by naming others to do the same. Those who don't follow through within the prescribed time frame face the "consequence" of having to donate $100 to the cause.
Given the reported numbers, people are obviously not only dumping ice water over their heads, they are donating too! And that’s great.
So I have been nominated. I have done my research and have learned more about ALS. I am sure I am not alone. I suppose it’s fun to dump ice cold water over your head (not sure why…) but I think the real point is to give. So that is what I have done. And I’ll have you know, I have used the ice from the ice bucket to make a lovely, refreshing summer drink!
Here is the God part. There are many wonderful and important causes out there. The reality is we each have limited resources and it is up to us to decide which ones to support. Pray, research and then give. Share what God has blessed you with, not necessarily on a whim or because of some viral fad but give with intentionality and deliberateness. And as you give, do it joyfully.
Give generously and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
Everyone shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
1 Chronicles 29:9
Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.