Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I KNOW WHAT I CAN DO, I CAN SERVE

When I was younger, I desired to be of use to God and I prayed about it. I knew Christians who were talented and making a difference, so I wondered what I could do. Then, like a bolt it hit me: I could serve. It sounds simple, but my years of experience as a Minister tells me it is often overlooked. I asked my Preacher what I could do and he pointed me to a task. It felt good doing God's work and making a difference. I was reminded of this simple truth by something Ben Stein wrote:

....Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin--or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.

But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life.

I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.

Serving is honorable and Christians are honorable: first and foremost. Jesus said He came to serve--and not be served--and His followers are to become like Him. Because there are so many Christians, there are all kinds of ways to serve. Some servants may have more glamorous positions, but not in God's eyes. Paul wrote, "it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become more presentable,..." (1 Cor. 12:22,23). A Christian who feels he has no talent to offer in the plan of God has overlooked what he is to be: he is to be a servant.


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