22 May Are you Serving or “Is it Serving You”?
This week has been quite a doozy for me.
In between multiple work deliverables and late-night, catch-up sessions, I celebrated seven years of marriage and had a loved one to die.
The tape that keeps replaying in my head is layered with thoughts about the fragility of the life cycle and how we took it and so many other things for granted before the quarantine. As I lay here imagining not being able to serve my grieving family members or at least grieve alongside them, I am saddened.
I am saddened, but mostly about not being able to really serve others in their time of need or grief, about – not being able to hug or simply sit next to them, just to feel their presence.
And as I sit here writing to you, I am thinking about servanthood.
I am thinking about the phrase, “It’s not serving me” and how popular it’s become as I near my 40’s and as I get further along on the journey of knowing myself.
Also, I am thinking about how serving can sometimes be challenging.
It is so interesting.
In Matthew 23:11, while Jesus is preaching to the multitudes and disciples, he says:
“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
In John 13, during the last supper, he sets the ultimate precedent by the washing of His disciples’ feet, including Judas. The scripture, says:
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:3-5
Can you imagine serving someone hours before your crucifixion?
Or humbly washing the feet of your enemy?
To Jesus, greatness comes from serving – the giving of yourself to God and others. Jesus came as a servant, and he set an example by dying as one.
We are called to serve. But as we mature and grow, we start to get asked the question, “Is this serving me (you)?”. This concept arises from the idea that we should only be bringing things into our lives that add value.
At first glance, I think this is quite the conundrum. My heart wants to give, but sometimes I do not have the capacity.
My heart wants to give, but sometimes giving is an inconvenience. So, tell me, is it serving me, or should I be a servant?
In servanthood, there is always a handoff, a connection, an exchange of sorts.
To bring it full circle, I would like us to consider the position of the waiter(tress).
When you are being served at a restaurant, by a waiter(tress), he or she does ALL of the work. They provide you with goods or a meal and make you comfortable in your surroundings. And at no point during this handoff, do you serve the waiter(tress) — only he or she to you.
This is how serving is. We connect with those who we serve, and those who serve us. But in the serving equation, one person is ‘doing the giving’ and the other person ‘the receiving.’
The caveat here is that we must also connect with the positions that we serve.
In the book “You are the Girl for the Job,” the author talks about how one woman cannot be called to serve in everything and everywhere. Women will be called to the thing or group that most ignites them, the things that God has placed on their hearts.
If your friend’s passion is for the homeless, it is totally ok that yours is not. Maybe, you are called to work with children.
If your daughter likes to cook for people to make them feel good, and you absolutely hate to cook. That is ok, too! Cooking is not your ministry, but maybe music or the gift of teaching is.
Women of Judah, I told you earlier that we are all called to serve. But – God wants us to serve in our purposes, positions, homes, the marketplace, marriages, and our friendships, as our authentic selves and with the authentic gifts that he has given us. Your connection to your ministry and servanthood is what makes it so unique. You!
I propose that “it can be serving us” and we can be servants.
The next time the world, asks, “Is it serving you?” I hope that your answer is a resounding “yes”! We cannot stop serving because we are uncomfortable, but we can start querying our hearts for the visions and assignments that He has placed there.