Depending upon your age, you will recognize the above phrase… (Jeopardy music please!)…That’s right, it was Bob Dylan, who recycled the idea that we are all servants.
Are you a servant? You may be thinkin’ “No, way Jose!” Well, if you have a job, you are serving your boss. If you own your own business, as I do, you serve the state, the feds and your customers. There is no shame in servant hood. The question is today, whom do you choose to serve?
On April 5, our church and some community brothers and sisters put on a fundraising tri-tip barbeque for our pastor who has been battling cancer for nearly 3 years. I am going to admit, I was not a cheerful giver. I volunteered to help, sold a bunch of tickets and did my time in the scalloped potato serving line. It was hard for me to be there. It had nothing to do with the cause. It was just that I was feeling beat down by bad things. Sometimes you don’t feel like serving and you just want cradle the remote or curl up in a fetal position.
The Bible says you can’t serve two masters. In that particular verse, it refers to money or God. Here in the good old USA, the pursuit of gold does a lot of damage to marriages and the family. Make no mistake it requires some green to grease the machine, but we are a nation of over indulgers. We get out of balance, and our need for a fat balance sheet, makes our giving to marriage a little lean.
I was up for the cause, but my energy was ebbing. Sometimes, we just have to push ourselves forward, or as athletes say, “play through the pain!” We do it many times when it comes to the job. I could have made an excuse, lied a little, or used the grandson’s birthday party as excuses to not show. It was a struggle between the heart and the flesh.
Service doesn’t feel good right away, but when a person is finished, there is rarely regret. Studies in mental health show that those that volunteer live longer and healthier. We go to work to get a paycheck, but when you volunteer for a fundraiser, organization or to support the youth, you get a payoff. It is better to give than to receive but sometimes the benefits are not readily visible.
I suspect we aren’t much different from other communities. There are a lot of folks in the valley that are cheerful givers. They are willing to give their time, talents and their money. It is one of the many positive things about living here in the valley of the sun. You can choose to serve yourself or somebody else. As for me and my house, well we choose to serve the Lord. You can serve the self or others, but when you reach out a hand to help, it never returns empty!