A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, March 6, 2014
How to Serve . . . with Enthusiasm?
As I’ve said before, it’s a wonderful opportunity to find acts of service to others! Many spiritual and religious traditions raise up the practice of service, including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and the Recovery program. Following the lead of these time-tested spiritual paths, I’m trying to find an intentional service opportunity every day, and then blog about these acts of service on a daily basis.
Intellectually, I agree with the verse I’ve chosen for March, which comes from Ephesians 6:7. “Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women.” But operationally, HOW do I do that? What does it look like?
My daughter and son have caught me out. They have noticed times when I try too hard, and put on my pleasant people-face and my smooth public-voice. Deep down, I don’t want to be “fake-y” or to put on a false face when I perform acts of service. However—I know I sometimes do try to fake it. “Fake it until you make it,” as one common Recovery saying goes. I think this Recovery saying had situations similar to this in mind. People working on recovery from an addiction are advised to get involved in regular service to others, but service is sometimes the last thing recovering addicts or alcoholics want to do. Thus, “fake it until you make it.”
All the same, I am purposely trying not to try too hard. Humility in service is a challenging thing to pray for (and even more challenging to actually attain). I thought long and hard before I started this year-long adventure of service, because I do not want anyone to think I am trying to earn brownie points with God. Instead, these acts of service are a grateful, loving response to God. According to Ephesians 2:10, God has set out acts of service for me to do, already. After some talking (with several spiritual elders) and some hesitant praying, I finally figured I had better get to work and make myself available for some loving service opportunities.
So, what was my act of service today, you may ask? Several! I did a few needful things around the house for a friend of mine today. Plus, I was kind and I smiled at two clerks at a store. And, I sincerely listened while another friend told me of continuing difficulty with the landlord. None of these service opportunities were huge, but I think they were appreciated.
Whatever way you slice it, I think those acts of service all count. They were all loving, intentional acts, and I even was pleased to get a response to each one. I don’t always get a response! But this time, I did. And it felt good to me to help others. To be kind, and to serve others. The way that God (as I understand God) intends for me to do. Thanks for this task—I mean, this opportunity to serve others.
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