Devotional/discussion thought of the day….
One of my favorite spiritual books – which we soon be re-opened – was written not by a famous pastor or priest – or by a saint, or by a powerful bishop or pope, but by a baker in a monastery. It tells of finding service to God in serving where one is put…. and that it is more important to serve well, than where one serves. (that is but one of the lessons) I know some people like that.
I know a lady who has volunteered at her church for 30 years – maybe 40. She is presently working in the sanctuary, filling the oil candles. Other times, she sits in the office, waiting for the phone to ring, or cutting out things for the pre-school teachers, or talking to those who drop by the office, lifting their spirits. She would turn bright red if she knew I was writing this blog about her and others. But if the church she serves runs smoothly – if we get things done – if things are in order… it is because of her service.
I know as well a number of teachers – but this morning I think of five – who are quite gifted – incredibly so. When their school closed, one stayed and has done a marvelous job with the preschool there, another went to another preschool and teaches the littlest – caring for them with incredible grace., two others are back teaching in elementary schools – teaching those who’ve others have given up on – the most challenging of kids to teach… and one serves the church as a office manager. What amazes me is that all of them are incredibly qualified and gifted – and yet they choose to serve where they do. All have chosen to serve those… who others would not, dare not. They do it – because God has placed them there – and though they may struggle with it – they serve those around them.
One of my favorite writes said this,
In God’s service there are no unimportant posts: all are of great importance. The importance of the post depends on the spiritual level reached by the person filling it. (1)
Luther – another of my favorite authors comments similarly
Now you tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other mean task for his child, and someone ridicules him as an effeminate fool—though that father is acting in the spirit just described and in Christian faith—my dear fellow you tell me, which of the two is most keenly ridiculing the other? God, with all his angels and creatures, is smiling—not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith. Those who sneer at him and see only the task but not the faith are ridiculing God with all his creatures, as the biggest fool on earth. Indeed, they are only ridiculing themselves; with all their cleverness they are nothing but devil’s fools. (2)
It is not what we do – as the six ladies above demonstrate – it is that we do it in faith, trusting God to use what we do, trusting Him to turn our simple works into something which blesses those around us.
As I go to write my final manuscript this morning, as I find myself distracted by a number of things – this too comes out – I have to depend on the Lord who put me here – I have to go to Him first, I have to see His work, in those around me, and find the assurance that He will work through my hands, through my voice as well.
For that is what makes the difference. Many won’t recognize the work and devotion others have… yet without their work…without their example to me…without seeing what God does in their life…and with their selfless work… my serving would be weakened.
Thank God for those who serve around you – especially those whose work is not easily seen.
And as you consider the effect of their work, of God’s work through them, may you find yourself being used where you are at as well!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2285-2287). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(2) Luther, M. (1999). Vol. 45: Luther’s works, vol. 45 : The Christian in Society II (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.) (40–41). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.