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It's tempting to allow our ministry to revolve around what can be photocopied.

Because I was the only one in the church office at the time, I took the phone call from the good folks who sold us our photocopy machine five years ago.

The caller wanted me to look at the little dials that tell how many copies we have made. Our monthly service contract fee is based on our usage.

Afterward, I sat back and thought about it. In five years we have made nearly 750,000 copies. Three-quarters of a million! I got out my paper and pencil and went to work.

We use a lot of legal-sized paper for bulletins and so forth. Figure that half of the 750,000 went into legal-sized copies, half into letter-sized. That totals nearly 148 miles of paper.

Try to picture that. Think of the distance between your home and a favorite place 150 miles away. If you think in biblical terms, picture the distance between Jerusalem and Damascus. If you are a long-distance runner, picture six marathons, back-to-back.

The number stuck in my mind. I was so obsessed that I began researching exactly how we "spent" ...

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From Issue:Fall 1991: Outreach
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