To be clear, I did not have a plan to be anything spectacular, but I liked the idea of being in the limelight. Last Sunday the sermon tasked the congregation to step up their game and do a little more-- volunteer more, give more, absolutely pray more. I had to stifle a giggle because I am first in line to volunteer all too often! I volunteer because I enjoy the comradery of kind people working to do good. I volunteer because I want to see the smiles of children getting healthy attention. I volunteer because I like being known as someone who steps up.
Do you see the problem? I like serving God because I feel warm and fuzzy when I do. I'm not saying that is evil, though it certainly has pitfalls. But I do contend that when I do "good things" that are comfortable and maybe even a little self-serving I can miss out on some pretty amazing blessings.
As we work to trust God more we can be, and often are, called to do things that are uncomfortable, like working with people who are so down and out that, frankly, they smell and are emotionally needy...or like showing mercy to someone who is snooty and bossy, even before we realize they are broken and afraid just like we are...or stepping up to protect both someone being bullied and the bully. (No one is a bully because they are filled with patience, hope, peace, love, joy, self-worth and kindness; rather their bluster is often a protective wall hiding deep pain.)
So this is my perspective. I can trust God to give me eyes to see and ears to hear. I can trust the Spirit of God to help me discern new and better ways to serve. I can trust that Christ has died for me so that my ego can die, leaving room for the new me. I can serve rather than perform.
I can affirm with confidence and hope: GOD GIVES ME THE TOOLS I NEED TO SERVE.
1 Peter 4:10 And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts.