A very simple thought on serving people:
What an interesting time it has been to sit back and ponder the past season of our lives. Sometimes I cannot help but play the scene over and over again from Black Sheep with Chris Farley where he is at the top of the mountain trying to find cell reception and slips his foot off the rock and begins a very long, painful, dreadful, discombobulating summer salt down toward the valley...and then after gaining his senses, throwing himself upward into posture he exclaims, "What in the hell was that all about!" (If you haven't seen this movie...it's a must...it's on my to do list of life actually...it's an annual event that I have with me, myself, and I.)
But sometimes that's how I look at many situations in life and wonder what the purpose of it all was. I cannot count how many times I have tried to sit here at this stupid HP Pavilion laptop computer of mine and try to focus on writing the thoughts in my head which have been brewing for quite some time about different things, people I've talked to, things that have happened...and for some reason just not having the clarity to phrase myself. I just sit in a daze wondering what the purpose of it all was. Where is this going? What is being done? How does this effect me?
To be honest I'm not really sure what it's all about sometimes. (the cancer, how certain things have worked out in our lives, jobs, meeting people, serving, and life.)
Lately Christa and I have had the opportunity to meet and hear some very influential people. This past week we had the honor to sit in and hear Charlotter Gambil speak on the importance of building the local church - and how for some odd reason we have this mentally that the church is all about this religious building where we gather on Sunday mornings because of family tradition or religious beliefs and practices. Depending on your thoughts and viewpoint of the word religion you may disagree with the next statement - but she was saying that the role of the church is to reach out to people and meet their needs. We aren't to run around jamming the bible down peoples throats or telling them what to do and what not to do. It is important for us to invest time and ourselves in joining up with others to help meet the needs and reach out to other people, through whatever means possible, including ourselves, our experiences, and with all the junk that we haul behind.
The problem, however is that so many people want to be the top dog. Everyone wants to be on the stage, have a mic in their hand, run the company, be the president, run for mayor, be team captain, give the orders...it's their way or the highway. And this is why sometimes groups and organizations, including the church fail...because people don't want to greet people, or clean washrooms, or help with parking, or go into the hospitals and spend time with the sick, or offer a ride to someone, or care to listen to someones shotty (yes I said shotty...it's the new thing so get with it) life...because what we have to do is more important, and if I (not me...I as in plural...even though it can't be plural...I know.) am not running the show, if I am not noticed, if I am not rewarded, if I, I, I, I, I...then it just won't be worth it. And this is wrong thinking!
At first I took this as a slap in the face because I thought to myself...are you telling me that my tour across Canada was waste of my time and that I just want to make it to the top and be noticed? Are you telling me all the TV shows I've done and interviews was selfish ideas? Are you saying my goal to write a book is complete junk? Are you saying the homeless outreach that Christa and I lead for the street people of Calgary isn't impacting and reaching out to the needs of others? Are you telling me that loving that person who is just unlovable, or investing my time and energy doing something for someone else wasn't significant?
At first this was how I actually thought about this...and the whole way home Christa had to knock some sense into my wee little brain to remind that that's not what she was saying at all. What I soon learned was that all those things are great...but when we invest our time and money and energy into the lives of other people...that's what it's all about. If your on the top, great. But if your on the bottom step...you are just as...if not more powerful and useful then the guy on the top. Because the guy on the top may not have the opportunities and gifts to reach out to people like the guy on the bottom.
Even though there are days that I sit here and stare at a white, blank word document page which sometimes reflects my view on life thinking to myself, "what the... ", I have learnt that there is a huge joy in teaming up with a group of people and meeting the needs of others. Rather it be through a church, a community organization, a company, or even in a social group of people. We don't all have to be the guy on the top, because if we are all the guy on the top....it's boring!
I have discovered that if I can shovel someones walk, or feed the homeless, or help lead a youth group, or say hi to the guy in the food court who looks like he needs a picker upper, or whatever it might be. I have learnt that through my experiences, with all my junk and garbage I can serve people and meet the needs of others...just as I am. Too many times I think of people who work themselves up and go on a self pity trip and create all the drama in the world because what nice thing they did for someone, or nice thing they said to someone, or their hard work went unnoticed. Too many times people think that if they aren't noticed then it doesn't count or it's not significant. But we must remember...it's not about us. We all have the opportunity to reach out to people in any given situation -therefore, big or small, it is significant, it matters, and it just might bring hope and meet a need of someone you never thought it would have.