Of Taxi Service and Altruism

A Year of Being Kind blog –Sunday, June 15, 2014

God thanks for everything

Of Taxi Service and Altruism

Music is awesome! Since I studied a music major for my undergraduate degree, I absolutely concur.

My daughter plays several reed instruments. She is quite skilled at what she does, and she currently plays in a community band here in the north suburbs of Chicago. The band director at her school retired recently. He now directs the community band, and he recruited her to play several lower reed instruments.

The band happened to have a concert scheduled for today. This afternoon, at a senior citizen retirement center. The center was located a distance from home, and I acted as a taxi service for my daughter today. The humorous stuff aside, I offered to drive my daughter to and from the concert.

I hesitate to admit this, but I was not completely altruistic. The day was simply gorgeous! True, I did need to drive a long way, but the weather more than made up for it. Plus, after the concert, my daughter and I took the opportunity to drive more on some roads we don’t usually get to.

I wonder . . . how many times am I less than altruistic in my ways of being kind? In my attempts at service and being helpful to others? If I am honest, it’s more than once in a while. I haven’t kept count, but I would think it’s on occasion. Even, sometimes.

The verse I chose for June keeps rattling around in my head, too. Matthew 5:16. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” God, I ought to keep my eyes on You, and not get distracted by any other person, place or thing. Sure, I drove my daughter to her band concert. But I can’t get all puffed up by this tendency I have to pat myself on the back. No self-aggrandizement. (I’ve got to put a stop to that!)

I realize it’s a kind of a contradiction. Yes. But any time I start feeling smug, and congratulating myself? That’s for sure the time that I ought to put on the brakes. In that case, I need to take stock of exactly why I’m doing this being-kind-thing.

God, help me keep the focus where it ought to be—on You, and on others. I want to help, to serve. To be kind. Thanks for the reminder.

@chaplaineliza

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Helpful, Visiting in a Hospital

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, June 9, 2014

hospital drawing

hospital drawing

Helpful, Visiting in a Hospital

I received a phone call several days ago. I found out that a good friend of mine was in the hospital. I wanted to go and see my friend, but I had a bad cold. I didn’t want to sneeze and drip all over the place, so I just didn’t visit until I felt better.

When I was working as a chaplain at a hospital, I was very much aware that I needed to be in good health when seeing patients. So, I did my best to stay that way. Not only prudent, but a good idea, too!

It made me really sad to have to wait to see my friend, but I had other things I needed to accomplish over the past few days. I felt better on Saturday, and the Blessing of the Animals was scheduled for that morning. (I wrote about it, two days ago.) I had a number of other necessary things to do that afternoon and evening, and couldn’t go visit at the hospital—until today. It was wonderful to see my friend! We talked for quite some time, and we prayed together before I left. I think I was an encouragement to my friend. I certainly hope so.

Until tonight, I forgot completely about the verse I chose for the month of June – Matthew 5:16. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Wow. This kind deed I did today qualifies. I hadn’t thought about it that way before, but visiting sick people is something that would please God. And by extension, when others see my good, kind deed, they will be able to glorify my Heavenly Father (or, Parent).

There is one big caveat. If I have twisted motives or the wrong attitude, I don’t think God would want people to notice the deeds I did. For example, if I was like a Pharisee, I’d be all puffed up, showing off my self-righteous attitude. (Oversized, egotistical . . . ) You can bet God would turn His back on me in a big hurry, too. I’d be a big phony! I might be able to fool a few people for a while, but sooner or later they would figure me out. Me and my holier-than-thou, phony self.

On the other hand, if I act with some humility and graciousness, I think God would be very pleased with any good deeds I accomplished in God’s name. Then, when others see my good, kind, helpful deeds, they would certainly be able to glorify my Heavenly Father. (or, Parent)

Dear God, thanks for the opportunity to make the day brighter for my friend in the hospital. And, I pray that my attitude and actions will continue to be pleasing to You, too!

@chaplaineliza

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