“…rather, serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
Many days (I would like to say every day, but that wouldn’t be true!), when I get down to some dedicated prayer time, I end my time with the Lord with Charles Stanley’s Six Ss (www.intouch.org) .
The prayer goes something like this:
- Lord, I Surrender all that I am, do, think, to you today.
- Please make me SENSITIVE to your Holy Spirit.
- Allow me Lord to remember I can pray without ceasing today, turning toward SUPPLICATION in the moment.
- To read and recall your Words through SCRIPTURE.
- To be willing to say no to myself, be more concerned about someone else and engage in a little SELF-DENIAL.
- And to remember that I can SERVE this day in some way.
- In Jesus name, Amen!
I really appreciate those six Ss. They are actually simple but powerful. However, many times, they just sort of roll off my tongue without too much thought. They are like the final period after my sentences of prayer. And that thought strikes me sometimes…help me to pay more attention to my very own prayers, Lord. When I do give this prayer a little more attention, I often camp on one thought. Yesterday, the thought was, “Am I serving you, Lord? Am I doing enough intentionally to serve others? In fact, what am I doing to serve?”
I tucked that thought away as I went about my day…
I had to get my computer fixed, so that was one of the first things on my list of the day’s activities. I went in for my scheduled appointment and met with Doug, a really nice young guy…very pleasant and helpful. We connected right away over his upcoming trip to Disney World—one of my favorite places and topics!
As he was working with me, a whirlwind of a woman came in. Our appointments overlapped, so Doug began doing double-duty with both of us. I was patient and calm; intentionally so, because I can be the opposite…and I really needed my computer…and I was there first. And as I observed “the other woman,” I thought, “Well, this can be an area of service…To remain patient and appreciative of the work Doug is doing so pleasantly and continues to do even in the face of a demanding customer. In some small way I can ‘serve’ Doug a little by acting a little more like Jesus and a little less like me.”
The woman came in with a lot of energy…sort of slapped down the computer, whisked out her service contract, and angrily demanded what she clearly felt she deserved and was sure she wasn’t going to get. I found myself barely looking at her, as I didn’t really want to get embroiled in her attitude. I could feel her glancing at me for a little support. But I was having none of it. Then the thought crept into my mind, “This is an opportunity for you to be kind and engaging, even though you are a little put off by this woman. To serve and reach out with a little compassion. You won’t ‘catch’ her anger…” I chatted a little with her, Doug walked her through the problem and solution, and she left a little calmer herself. We exchanged “Good luck.” And the air was a little lighter.
Next stop, well, while I was waiting for my computer, I might as well do a little shopping. I mean how else could I spend this hour or so (plenty of ways, but that’s beside the point!)? I entered the shop filled with a new spring collection bursting with bright colors. It really was a picker-upper to see these flashes of pinks, turquoise, yellow, after a long winter. The clerk graciously offered to take my growing bundle and bring my selections to the dressing room. I was intentionally thankful and made sure to make eye contact, as the thought occurred to me, “How many times does this lovely gal offer her help only to have women barely look at her?” When I went to pay, there she was again. We had a nice chat about my extremely reasonable purchases, went on to a discussion of our weight, dieting, exercise…actually encouraged one another. I left the store feeling happy with a bit of a spring in my step. We had served each other in a way. Going beyond the pleasantries to engage a little.
Finally, before heading to pick up my computer, I decided to grab a little something to eat. The guy behind the counter was nice enough, but here again, when I chatted with him a little beyond placing my order, I noticed there was a little spark between us…He gave me a bright smile as we parted. “Have a nice day.” “You too!”
God had answered my prayer. The one to SERVE, but also the one about being SENSITIVE to the Holy Spirit. I had heard that still small voice saying to me throughout the day, “This is the way, walk in it. Serve my people by being a little kinder, a little gentler, a little more engaging today.” I had seen how easy it could be to serve in this subtle little way that makes existing in this sometimes harsh, angry world a bit more pleasant…for me and those I came in contact with.
What’s your story? Do you ever wonder how you can serve the Lord in this world? Ever been frustrated that you aren’t serving at all or serving enough? Have you found simple ways to serve? Tell me your story!