In a society like ours that is founded on the pursuit of personal gain and public recognition, what does it mean to have a servant’s heart?
Admittedly, the idea of servanthood, submission and humility is not a particularly popular one. As a member of the “me” generation, with Myspace, YouTube and the iPod, it is difficult to reconcile such a thought.
But as Christians, we are called to a life of service. No matter what we do or where we go, we are supposed to serve others. Galatians 5:13 says, “But through love, serve one another.”
This past weekend I went with the Outdoors Club on what we thought was going to be a camping trip. We were expecting to assist with some minor daily activities at the facility where we were staying and then have significant free time.
What we discovered upon arrival was that we actually needed to help manage the property.
So, instead of hanging around the kayaks all day, we collected and chopped wood, pulled weeds, picked up trash, scraped seaweed off the docks–and this was all before lunch.
It was hard work. We weren’t expecting it and, I have to say, we did not handle it very well. The majority of the group, myself included, complained about the amount of work we were asked to do. We felt exploited and upset. But then dinner rolled around.
We were served by kitchen volunteers, one of which was a 15-year-old boy whom everybody called “Squid.” Squid was the youngest of the kitchen crew and, as a result, was teased and tricked into doing the jobs that nobody wanted. At one point during the weekend he was jokingly pushed to the ground as one of the other boys sat on his chest and smacked his cheeks, demanding that he tell the newcomers (us) why he was called Squid.
What surprised me the most about Squid was that he never once complained. In fact, in everything he did, he smiled. He seemed to genuinely enjoy where he was and what he was doing. At a campground. Serving us.
When this realization hit me I felt, all at once, guilty and blessed. Blessed that we should have someone so willing to serve us and guilty that I was so selfish not to do the same.
So where does that leave us? What should we, as Christians, do when we are asked to serve? Serve! Serve without having to be asked. And do it with a willing heart.