This last week, we learned what it means to really serve people. Service and responsibility are somewhat related, but dramatically different at the core of our attitude toward them. Responsibility is doing what is expected of us, service is going out of our way to do what is not expected. Thus, our responsibilities are done with an obligation, while our service is done gladly.
In our lesson, we learned about Jesus’ command to us, “If a soldier asks you to carry his load one mile, carry it two.” The first mile is our responsibility, or obligation. The second mile is our service, our choice, our pleasure. The beauty of it all, is that when we serve others, we are showing God’s love!
I have not seen the movie, so I am not recommending you see it, but I challenged the kids in my small group to “Pay it forward.” In the movie, a teacher challenged his elementary school class to change the world. One boy decided that he wanted to change the world by helping (serving) 3 people in a way that they could not help themselves, then challenging them to “Pay it forward” by helping 3 other people. Through the movie, we see different people doing some great things and really helping people where they need it. One of the most dramatic displays of someone paying it forward comes on a rainy night. While a guy is driving, he looses control of his car and crashes. An attorney drives by in his Jaguar and pulls over to help the man. Looking at his car and other guy’s car, he decides to give the Jaguar to the stranded stranger.
You never know how far an act of kindness will reach. I would like to continue to challenge everyone to serve others and actively look for ways to show God’s love through acts of service. I certainly can do better at this, in fact as I rack my brain to think of an example of when I have gone out of my way to serve someone, the best example I can think of dates back about 18 months…
During the winter storm of 2008-2009 in Portland, Oregon, we had about 2 weeks of snow and sub freezing temperatures (an anomaly for the Portland area). One day Roberta and I came home from some adventures out doing something, and found a man sleeping in the heated stairwell of our apartment complex. At first, I did not notice him, but he stirred and that caught my attention. Roberta and I talked about what to do, and I decided that I would bring him a mug of hot tea. So, you have one my one most recent personal act of kindness. Do you have a story?
Check out the trailer for the movie “Pay It Forward”: