Service to God…
“Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto Him.” (Deuteronomy 13:4 KJV)
(Author’s Note** Today’s blog may appeal to an older, possibly already “retired” reader. As you read through my words, I am sure many of you will be able to relate. I hope my experiences and expressed feelings might be a source of encouragement to you. Thank you for “clicking” by, and have a blessed day.)
There are as many “opinions” on, “What IS service to God?” as there are pairs of shoes in all of the closets in Hollywood combined…The great Old Testament commander, Joshua, declared, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as far as me and my household we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
The “act,” or applied actions, of “Service” is, “To Serve.” So, what does it mean to Serve God? How do we Serve God? Do we “serve” God through our faith, relationships, works, obedience, abilities, talents, strengths, opportunities, daily walk, and Worship? Naturally, the answer is, “YES, on all accounts.” We, as Christians, serve God through each of these areas of life and so much more.
But, what if we are missing something? What if a very important ingredient of true “service” to God is being left out, or accidentally omitted, or overlooked in our lives? As Christians, we know and “rest” in God’s Mercy and Grace, but what about those of us who like to make “A’s” on every project, dot every “i” and cross every “t,” and most definitely received a good mark for All of our “efforts?” What if we are sadly missing or overlooking an area of service? What are we to do? If you are like me, I can sense the “panic” now…”What if?” “What if?”
But, I am LEARNING something BIG about serving God and Service to God…Let me explain. Lately, I have been feeling very “disconnected” from my world; especially from those I attend church with. My past experiences stemming from being a Pastor’s wife along with years and years of “service” within the church system makes me FEEL somewhat “different” from those that I am now trying to “connect” with in my new role as being a retired pastor’s wife, as well as a retired school teacher…(Ouch…The “retirement” thing does take time to adjust!)
Now in my life, once very, very busy hands that oversaw several tasks and projects at one time NOW sit calm, empty, relaxed, and even idle at times…(Thank God for blogging!). And, because of those treasured “past” experiences, I sometimes feel like a “duck out of water.” A feeling none of us enjoys.
For me, I began “serving” God in church at the age of “22” as the church’s organist. I also worked a full-time job as an insurance clerk and medical transcriber at a doctor’s office. At the same time, my three babies were three and two years old (including twins)…That same year, I attended and assisted our Pastor’s wife in putting on a ten-weeks Bible Study written by Evelyn Christenson, “What Happens When Women Pray.” Also, during that same time span, my husband announced his “Call” into the ministry as a Preacher…As a result, he, too, took on several “jobs” within the church that would one day lead to his becoming a senior Pastor.
For the next thirty years, our lives went wide-opened, full-speed ahead…If there was a job, task, role, duty, out-reach, or service…either my husband or I; or both, were in the picture; including our three daughters while growing up in our home: Music Ministry…Been there; done that…Sunday School Teachers (all ages from nursery to senior adults)…Been there; done that…Youth Directors…Been there; done that…Homeless missions…Been there; done that…Prison Ministry…Been there; done that…Nursing Home Ministry…Been there done that…Both Men’s and Ladies Ministries…Been there; done that…Vacation Bible School Directors/Outreach…Been there; done that…Live Radio Broadcast (for over 20 years)…Been there; done that…Pastor and Wife (for over 25 years)…Been there; done that…If it pertained to “service” within the local church and community…Been there; done that…All to the best of our abilities and god-given strengths. (Not “perfect” lives by no means, but consistent and faithful in service!)
But, even after all of those years and opportunities, I am STILL learning about “SERVICE TO GOD!” And, this time I am learning it in a very different regard and aspect….IN SILENCE and totally behind the scenes….
I believe Christians sometime “overlook” a very important side or aspect of “service.” One definition of service is: “to be useful for a particular purpose at a particular time.” Example: The cardboard box “served” well as a table for the occasion.
Did you see that? The cardboard box “served” a purpose at a particular time…No doubt, after its service as a “table,” it returned to being a box! Not that its purpose is any less valuable by simply being a “box,” because we all know that a “box” within itself can serve “lots” of purposes, but for one brief “needed” moment, the box served as a table as well….(Stay with me!)
Within my self, I am a wife, mother, and grandmother…Those are my primary functioning roles. However, for many years I was fortunate and blessed enough to “serve” in many different other capacities for God within the church and community…But, now my “current” service is to return to my primary functions in life: wife, mother, and grandmother…without the added, extra “purposes” in place….So, does this mean that my “value” in SERVICE to God has decreased, or is no longer as meaningful? Answer: No. Just like the “box’ that served as a table, I, too, have “served” God for HIS purpose…And, I am still “serving” God each day as He leads.
I believe if you “serve” God for HIS purpose, it matters not what job, task, role, or title….Or, even for how long or how short of a time….You have “served” God well in HIS purpose….
So, what is “service” to God? My answer: Being available to God with your entire “being” for as long or as short of time God requires. After all, “I would rather be a door-keeper in the House of God for one day than to dwell among the wicked for a thousand years!” Amen….
Do I miss those “added” times of service? Yes; of course, I do….But, I am learning that I serve God just as well now as I did thirty years ago…How? We find the answer in the book of Psalm: “SERVE the Lord with GLADNESS…” (Psalm 100)
See!! “Service to God” is a heart thing; a smile within the soul thing; an attitude thing; a mindset thing; a behind-the-scene thing or a limelight thing…it matters not… as long as our HEARTS are given to “SERVICE TO GOD WITH GLADNESS!” So, I, too, can proclaim with JOYFUL assurance, just as Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will SERVE the Lord!” How? WITH GLADNESS!!! Amen…
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author
@copyright by Lin T Rollins 2012