Not to be Served, but to Serve

7:57 AMHeather

We live in this little bubble in our nice little house in our middle class suburb with a great group of friends and our usual weekly routine. Safe and sound. And we like it that way. But, over the last two years, I feel God challenging me to step out. As a family, we all felt the call and began to prepare for a family mission trip to India this summer. It was a process where God softened our hearts and placed a desire in the hearts of EACH of the five of us to something NOT safe and sound. We went from hesitant to questioning to surrendering to excitement.

And, we never saw it coming, but then God slammed the door on that trip. I realized how much I'd embraced the idea when I grieved the fact we would not be going after all. But, the end of that plan doesn't have to be the end of a venture out of our bubble. We don't have to go half-way around the world to meet the needs of people. This past Saturday brought just such an opportunity.

Our church has partnered to help with a homeless ministry in south Fort Worth, and I've loved seeing the youth go plug in regularly to assist with worship services and other needs. Not every opportunity is appropriate for us to bring all our children, but this past Saturday we went to help sort donated items. I have to admit that I didn't initially have a great attitude about it when I considered all the other activity of the weekend. But, as I thought and prayed about it, I saw the opportunity for what it was. And, it was a GREAT experience that whet an appetite for more of these opportunities.

It was eye opening for my children to just drive through that certain part of town and realize in a tiny way how big the needs of the world are. We sorted clothes, blankets, toiletries, and shoes. We bagged some items up to be sent to another area ministry, and sorted warm coats by size to be handed out the following day at worship. Honestly, we didn't do much. There is so much more that needs to be done in the world to serve others. But, it was a tiny start. And I think that's just what our family needed--a gentle push out of our comfort zone to get the ball rolling.

INTENTIONAL challenge: As Rick Warren says in The Purpose Driven Life, it's NOT about us. We live in an entitlement culture, and as followers of Christ, we have to make a conscious decision to go against the flow. No one is ever too young or too old to take that first step toward serving others and embracing the idea of looking for opportunities to meet needs. Pack a box of goods for deployed soldiers or needy children. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a local food pantry. Organize a donation party for Shoes for Orphan Souls or Bear the Burden. Find a short term mission trip for your family. We have to lead by example and get our hands dirty, too. So, what tiny step can you take this next week? Make a plan to serve others and you'll be BLESSED!

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