Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Not if you are a Christian! The Bible says, "Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done; He came to serve, not to be served---and then to give away His life in exchange for many who are held hostage." (Mark 10:43-45 Message Bible)
And don't wait to be asked. If you see a need jump in and start serving. Do you think a slave asked his Master if he needed help with something? No! He was constantly on alert...watching carefully to see what his master needed.
Recently we were carrying equipment and props into a church building. (a common occurrence with us!) Several young men (about 4 as I recall) were sitting just inside the door. They asked if we needed help. We said it was ok that we could do it. I know I know...we should have said SURE...but we kind of thought it was obvious. I am used to being a "roadie". It's what we do. We carry in, set up, perform, then tear down.
I am not saying we were not at fault. Maybe we should have said we needed help. I am just saying, don't even ask. Just jump up and start helping. I believe that after awhile you will begin to understand this verse more than you have ever understood it.
Being a slave or a servant, requires work. It requires being uncomfortable. It requires a bit of sweat and strain and inconvenience. But, I believe most of all that it requires watchfulness...attentiveness...,and, especially...copying the Master, who has set the example. Do you know of another Master of slaves who has ever set the example? We have that kind of Master. Let's follow Him!
Several months ago we took some friends on a picnic to Watauga Lake in Elizabethton. It's one of our favorite places and we have had many picnics in that beautiful spot.
I always take a pretty red and white checked table cloth and flowers for the table. If the bush with purple berries is in bloom at the lake, I wait till I get there and break off a couple of branches from that for my "flowers." (I actually bought one of those bushes for my yard many years ago. It's called Beauty Berry, if I remember correctly. There is one that blooms in winter called Winter Berry--with red berries. I want to get one of those too!)
Anyway, back to the picnic: Steve and Cindy Bates went with us on the picnic, and she couldn't get over that I brought flowers for the table. She went on and on about it. I, of course, having done it all these years, did not give it a second thought.
This weekend, the guys went to Cindy and Steve's church in Wise, VA. I couldn't go because I was taking care of Jason's animals while he was in California visiting our Grandson. When they came home, Cindy had sent me a beautiful Begonia already potted! What a treasure! I am sure she figured out how much I liked flowers from the aforementioned picnic, but she had no idea how excited I would be to get this beautiful potted plant.
I sat it beside the back door where I see it every time I go in or out of the house. It reminds me of how God has blessed us with the beauty of flowers, but most of all how He has blessed us with the beauty of friendship. Thanks Cindy.
Just this week, my grandson, Cal, moved into a newly renovated apartment in California. He is thrilled and so am I! No matter how old your children or grand children are you never quit being concerned.
We were talking about that this morning. Cal thought he had a washer and dryer but turns out, the regulations where he lives don't allow one, so he has to go to the laundramat.
That made us start thinking about living in NYC and how we had to go to the laundramat. We had a washer and dryer in one apartment, but only one, and we lived there about 7 different times.
John boy started talking about me walking 8 blocks to do laundry, then coming back to our 4th floor walk up and hauling it up the stairs. (I usually went when they were gone on the weekend.) The building we lived in was a fire hazard too, unlike Cal's brand spanking new digs!
I was laughing about the time I was in a zone (or something) and walked up 5 flights instead of 4! John boy said, "that's like going the extra mile, Mom!"
Maybe so. But when you have to walk up 4 flights of stairs, several times a day, one more flight might make one a little frustrated! When I realized what I had done, I laughed, turned around and walked back down...much easier than going up!
Maybe that's what we should do when someone asks us to go "an extra mile". Instead of feeling frustrated or put upon, we should laugh, and gladly do whatever we can to help out. I can promise you, that the walk after that extra mile, will be much easier and you will feel happier and lighter coming back down the road!