Exactly Where I Need to Be
Not the sexiest of terms to be honest. By definition, a servant is someone who performs duties for others, a devoted and helpful follower. Essentially this person isn't calling any of the shots. It's a title based off of action, one that really can't be fulfilled unless you're actually doing something. If you think about it practically, there's really no dignity behind the title servant. Doesn't really hold much weight and in the hierarchy of positions, it's generally at the bottom. Yet, some of our greatest leaders took on the title servant, and it's exactly where I need to be.
Last week, one of my Young Adult leaders brought a message from the book of Romans which has caused me to dig a little deeper into the book myself. To give you a little background, the book of Romans is a letter written by Paul, easily one of the greatest figures of Christianity outside of Jesus, and this book is argued to be Paul's masterpiece. To sum it up, the book of Romans and the apostle Paul are kind of a big deal and before Paul begins to write the book that holds the key to define our Christian beliefs and doctrines, he introduces himself:
Before he threw around the weight of his authority as an apostle, he addressed himself first as a servant of Christ Jesus. Which tells me that before all else, it's more important to serve. Even Jesus Himself said He came on earth not to be served but to serve others (Mark 10:45, Matthew 20:28).
If Jesus addressed Himself as a servant, who I am to address myself as anything else? Growing up, I have always wanted to be known for being great. A bit of a perfectionist, a know it all and a competitor, I wanted to the brightest, the biggest, the best, and I wanted you to know it. But this year, among other changes that you all get to witness publicly during this journey, I made a deliberate decision to no longer strive to be a perfectionist or a know-it-all (and all my friends clapped here). Growing in Christ has shown me, that it literally is not about me, it's about pushing the message and love of Jesus and I do that every day by serving.
Sure, I hold other "titles": daughter, pup mom, friend, writer, Christian, etc., but so far, servant is my favorite and most rewarding titles, and it starts by showing up. Showing up and using whatever gifts God gave you to help further His mission for you. I've said it ad nauseam that God has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), but in order to complete that plan you have to show up and you have to be available.
This Sunday, I (among others) was recognized at my church for my role in serving. It was completely unexpected and I even almost missed it by (ironically) serving, but the even more interesting part was that I would have missed it altogether had I not even showed up to church that day.
Which was my plan.
As y'all read in Strength & Peace, my emotions had me against the ropes, so I planned to take this Sunday "off" to refresh. I had every intention of just going to one service and going back home, especially considering I woke up too late to make it the 8:00 am meeting. Yet as I was driving in, I began thanking God that serving is something I get to do, not something I have to do and that if I'm needed today I'm available. One service turned into me staying all day, yet I was so refreshed, and that's when it clicked for me. Serving really isn't about the task you're doing or the people you're helping, real serving is just showing up and making yourself available. Available for whatever needs to be done. Of course, the recognition from my Pastors and my team leader was amazing, but the real reward was the "fresh air" that I got while serving that day, even though a few hours earlier I was completely exhausted. It was like God was teaching me that serving is exactly where I need to be. That if I am willing to just show up and be available, for Him and His people, He'll take care of the rest. If I'm available to do my part, He'll show up and do His.
How can I serve you?