I was part of an event recently where I had the honour of leading a team to facilitate parts of the evening. They had to handle a high volume of people and were responsible for the welcoming, seating and looking after of almost 900 people over two weekends.
They were amazing! Their welcoming of people, attention to detail, ability to think and react on the fly, manage different challenges, venues and people was beautiful to see. They displayed such excellence in how they loved and served each person who walked through the doors that as their team leader I just had to show my appreciation. My secondary love language is gifts so naturally I was stoked at the opportunity to say thank you with a gift. Then as I gave them out something interesting happened. The first time it happened I thought maybe the person who was receiving was a little uncomfortable with gifts, but then it happened again and again until about three quarters of my team had displayed the same reaction. Here’s what they said (I’m paraphrasing but it was all along these lines) “A gift? For me? But I haven’t done anything.”
I found this fascinating and it got me thinking. Now it wasn’t an incredible gift they received (much as I would have liked to spend more money on it) so I don’t think the gift was wildly disproportionate to the act of service they’d given, making me think it wasn’t an embarrased reaction. Neither are these amazing people afflicted with false humility and there wasn’t this sense in their response either.
As I thought more about their words”I haven’t done anything ” the more puzzled I became because they all had. They’d given up their time, come to team meetings, and been an integral part of making the night run smoothly.So maybe on reflection the sentiment they were expressing was more along these lines “in comparison to all the other amazing gifts on display tonight, my service appears less” or “I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special” or “I was happy to do this, it was no trouble to me.”
I felt challenged and a little God nudge as he whispered ‘you do this all the time.’ Every time I compare my serving or gifting to someone else’s it can become smaller and less valuable in my eyes, when to my Heavenly Father it’s the precious gift or opportunity to serve that He’s given to me and is a delight to Him whenever I use it and take the opportunity. When I grade acts of service as important and less important I loose sight of the kingdom mentality that teaches me that Jesus came to serve as an example for us to follow and no job is to small or too great for him, whether washing dirty feet or washing away the sins of the world. If I confuse being in ministry, position or a team with graduating from small and simple acts of service and kindness to those around me then I’ve missed the point.
Now I’m not saying my incredible team were responding in these ways, this is just what I felt challenged on today. I was reminded all over again that what we sometimes feel is us “not doing anything” can actually be right where the Holy Spirit does his best work in us and through us. When we feel small and insignificant like children offering our service and feeling like it hasn’t made much of a difference, perhaps this is exactly where His strength, beauty, compassion and love is best displayed through us.
So maybe today you’re feeling like you’ve not much to offer, or what you have to offer isn’t as important as what you see others giving around you. Be encouraged that to Jesus it’s the most precious service if it’s our best and offered with a heart of love to serve Him and those He loves. Today you’re not “doing nothing” you very well might be doing the most important thing Jesus has set up for you to do today and just not know it.