Encouragement From The Word

Cultivating to serve

I know a guy who slipped on some ice not long ago and broke his wrist badly.  And let’s face it:  there’s never a good time to break a bone, but in the middle of winter, when you have a long driveway to shovel, it’s a particularly bad time.

The story is not all about pain, though.  He had to undergo surgery to reset his wrist, and when he came home, casted, he found his driveway had been cleared of snow.

At that point, clearing the driveway was probably the last thing on his mind.  But some of his friends had not forgotten it.

You might be thinking that a neighbour cleared it out for him, which would have been very kind indeed.  But that’s not what happened.

While he was in surgery, one of his university buddies contacted 9 other mutual friends, and the 10 of them pooled a few bucks together and paid to have their friend’s driveway cleared – for the rest of the winter.

Can you imagine?  Having a broken wrist, and not having to worry about shovelling at all until after it’s healed?  It’s a really thoughtful gift.

What’s particularly heartwarming is that in our very insular and individualistic society, there are signs that people still care – and care enough to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.

There are many good lessons from this story, one of which is the importance of cultivating strong relationships.  I mean, I can’t think of the names of 10 people I went to university with, let alone be in touch with them in such a way that they would know I was injured and needed help.  You might not be able to, either – but it’s not too late to cultivate strong relationships now.

Think about your circle of acquaintance, both within the church and outside.  How strong is it?  How can you strengthen those relationships – not so that you would get help if you needed it, but so that you could be helpful if it were needed?

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  We can deepen our relationships so we can serve others.  And who knows?  By serving others, by God’s grace, doors of faith might open.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another” (1 Peter 4.10, NLT).

P.S.:  If you’re interested in integrating your faith and your work, consider coming to St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton for a simulcast retreat called “Work as Worship” on Friday, February 23 from 8:30 to 3:30.  Lunch is provided in the $25 registration cost.  Learn more by clicking here.