Archive for March 3rd, 2008
Yesterday (Friday) morning I was convinced that I had nothing to say about serving, this week’s blog theme. I wrote to Jon to let him know I contemplated copping out and recycling a meditation from a year ago. This morning I read some verses, thought and prayed some more, and took myself off to my favorite writing spot, still skeptical. Before I got engrossed in my emails, I opened up to Romans 12:1, the verse that had come to mind while driving here:
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” NASB [I prefer the more literal “reasonable” or “logical” service…]
My e-mail account was fired up by this time, and I saw I had a reply from Jon. After offering encouraging words, he shared a verse with me. Take a wild guess which one. Yes, you’re right.
Our reasonable service to the Lord is to offer all that we are to Him. Suddenly the struggle I’d had since yesterday, trying to come up with a definitive illustration from my own life of what serving looks like, seemed beside the point. What I’ve gotten is a montage of sensory images, and now they all seem relevant.
- I can smell the cucumber-melon lotion that was my elderly mother-in-law’s favorite for me to use on her hands and feet.
- I taste the 7-Up my mom brought her sickly little girl to sip in bed, or feel her lap and hear her lovely voice rocking and singing away my nightmares.
- I grin at the memory of being part of a team doing some needed yard work for a pastor a few years ago, anonymously (not my idea).
- I feel the tears of gratitude, humility and a bit of embarrassment after discovering that a group of friends had cleaned my house while I was away with my dying mother…that was anonymous, too, and it occurred to me long after to wonder if it was the same friends…
- My husband’s love language is acts of service, so I taste many hot cups of coffee or tea brought to me while I’m curled up in a living room chair.
- Because I speak his language back to him, my arms ache this morning from vacuuming and dusting, which helped him get the store ready to open at his Saturday job.
- Then there are the hours of being a gentle listener, and the hours of pouring my heart out to another kind ear.
- There are small voices, runny noses, and dirty diapers of children I’ve cared for at the drop of a hat.
- Our sons have shared those same “treasures” with dear friends who watched them for hours or days so Dennis and I could pursue our theatre ministry.
It seems to me that we could all easily live every moment either serving, being served, or both at once. If Paul’s definition of our reasonable service (worship!) is to present our whole selves to God as a living sacrifice, then this shouldn’t even be surprising. If I am His, then everything I am and do is both by His strength and for His glory…whether serving gladly or being served gratefully. A living and holy sacrifice might be sensitive words or a strong back, humble appreciation or professional ability, patience in waiting or actively redeeming the time.
That is a wonderful challenge to me this week: Could I live every minute, consciously serving the Lord with my body, mind and spirit, even as others serve me?
P.S. To my fellow contributors. Notice I didn’t say “should I”, Jon?…if this challenge is merely a burden, that defeats the whole idea. But as an privileged opportunity, a delightful contest, perhaps I can bear the idea in mind and heart, and pursue true “amateur” status as a Christ-follower. Thanks for that image, Anna! And Connie and Rob, I was thinking much about your last week’s posts and comments while writing this.