Off the Hamster Wheel, Into Service

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, July 24, 2014

KIND one persons act of kindness

Off the Hamster Wheel, Into Service

Ever have someone say something that really hit home? (Upon reflection, this has been happening to me a lot, lately . . . )

I was talking with a couple of friends and acquaintances earlier, and one of them said something particularly striking. Striking to me, anyway. My friend made mention of personal shortcomings, and commented that service to others very much helped in lessening these shortcomings.

That comment did indeed resonate with me! Oftentimes, I find that I am all caught up in my own head. Me, me, me. After all, I’m the most important person in the room! (Aren’t I? That’s me, the extrovert with an inferiority complex talking.)

Service was one of the biggest reasons I started this blog, A Year of Being Kind. I gave it a subtitle, too: 365 Days of Service. My friend’s comment started the wheels turning in my own brain. I can be so preoccupied with “self” (that’s myself, thank you very much) that I feel like I’m going round and round in my own head. Like a hamster on a hamster wheel. Round and round and round. However, when I get involved in serving others, in being kind and helpful, I realize I get off of the hamster wheel. For at least a little while.

Accordingly, I did just that today. I went out of my way to give someone a telephone call, in another state. It’s been about two months since I saw him. This was a call to find out how my acquaintance was doing, and to generally check in. My acquaintance was so pleased to hear from me! It was good to hear from him. And, ask for some prayer praises and prayer requests, too. I also tried to pass along some encouragement. I hope I was successful.

I know I hit a home run with my pointers I gave, as far as a ministry suggestion. I gave my acquaintance the web address of a helpful website I use on a regular basis. He had never heard of it, and it’s one of my go-to sites for sermon preparation. I’m not sure, but I suspect that resource might be a really significant thing for him. I just have that feeling.

So, yeah. I got out of my own head today. And, I helped others and put myself out to serve. Encourage and be kind. What an opportunity to get off the hamster wheel! Thanks for the leading, God. Glad to be of service today. I wonder how You will use me to be kind, tomorrow?

@chaplaineliza

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Being a Chaplain, and Being Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, April 14, 2014

PRAY God can hear you

Being a Chaplain, and Being Kind

You never know when stuff will happen, or opportunities present themselves. In the midst of major cleaning and getting things ready for the carpet guys to come to our place tomorrow, I was really busy with sorting, packing, and schlepping stuff downstairs to the basement.

While I was involved in all this commotion, I talked with two recent acquaintances today, too. One told me of several hospitalizations that happened to the other, within the last few months. About the surgeries on the extremity, and pus coming out repeatedly. Pretty scary stuff!

It all involved a cut on a lower extremity, the cut getting infected, and what happened after that. Yucky, scary, creepy chain of events. The infection just wouldn’t go away, even after repeated hospitalizations and heavy-duty antibiotics. The three of us talked a little about these super-bacteria, resistant to even the most powerful drugs and—specifically—antibiotics. The infectious disease doctors are starting to warn the public about these super-bugs, even.

I haven’t been in a hospital or care center for a number of weeks now. (Even though my Twitter handle and my name I go by on wordpress.com are both @chaplaineliza.) However, these two acquaintances didn’t seem to notice. Or care.

They spoke to me at length and opened up about several things. But one thing stuck in my mind—the hospitalization. So much so, I felt the urge to pray for this dear one, and I acted on it. I followed God’s leading.

As I have done many times in the past, I asked my acquaintance if I could pray, and if it would weird either of them out. They both laughed, and said of course I could. My second follow-up question was “Would you like me to pray with you right now, or would you like me to do it in the afternoon tomorrow?” Right now was fine.

We stood there and prayed. Holding hands. I was conscious that this practice was unusual for my acquaintance, so I hurried my prayer along. (I don’t think God minded. In fact, I suspect God totally understood.) As I closed my prayer “in the healing, powerful name of Jesus,” I felt a gentle peace, a right-ness. Somehow, this dear acquaintance and I were in the right place, at the proper time. Or something like that. I am not sure quite what God had in mind when I prayed, but I have the strong sensation that God was pleased. Not pleased about the repeated operations and the other creepy things that happened, but about the two of us getting together and praying. Coming before our God and calling out our hurts, our victories, our fears.

Thank God that I am not calling out into some dull lifeless blog. No, You have promised to be with me, all the way. And your have promised to be with my acquaintance, too. Great job, God!

@chaplaineliza

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