Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.
1 Peter 4:10
We have all been given specific talents and gifts. We are all called to serve. Whether in our homes, offices, or communities, we feel the call.
At home, some of us have been called to be mothers. The words maid, chef, and chauffeur sometimes feel awfully familiar. The daunting tasks of laundry, dishes, homework, and taxiing from sport to sport, have us feeling like we are constantly treading water.
When we work, we are trying to please our boss, client, or customer and hope that money keeps coming in the door, or that we get that next big break.
In our community we want to be involved, volunteer, and feel like we are a part of something “bigger” but… other commitments compete for our time.
So… what if we change our thinking, our perception, or the way we view what we are doing?
I’ve always loved the quote by Maya Angelou…
“When we give cheerfully and accept thankfully, everyone is blessed.”
It’s true, right? Think of giving a gift to a special someone. How does that make you feel? I think about when my kids are invited to a birthday party. They are always so excited to go shopping for the present for the birthday boy or girl. They wait with anticipation until it’s time to open the gifts, just so they can see the face of the person who is opening and see how excited they are. Giving to others brings them joy.
So, why not think the same of service?
Service is a love language that we can all speak, and in doing so, receive joy from.
Although I’m not sure laundry will ever be on my list of something that I enjoy doing, I have chosen to look at it as something that I can do to serve the ones I love. When I grocery shop and prepare meals, I choose to be excited that I am able to serve my family with my cooking. When I take my kids from soccer to ballet, I can be excited that I am able to spend the time with them in the car, serving their needs while doing so.
In our vocations, we can perceive what we are doing as a daunting task, or we can choose to use our talents to do our job and see that we are a part of something bigger than just the task at hand.
In our communities, we can choose to use our gifts to serve in whatever way we can, and that can bring us joy.
There are so many ways to use our God-given gifts to serve others that even the littlest of things count, such as:
- The next time you go to the store, try holding the door for the person behind you.
- When you are on the road, let a car go in front of you in a traffic jam.
- When you are out to eat, stack the plates and tidy up for your waitress.
- Tomorrow morning, pick up coffee for a co-worker that might need a little pick-me-up.
- At work, tell your boss how much s/he is appreciated.
- The next time you are in a store, at the mall or on a walk—smile at a stranger passing by.
Serving comes in so many forms in all areas of our lives. I challenge each of you to get out there today and change your way of thinking. Don’t think of the “daunting tasks” that need to get done. Don’t think of “all the things on your plate”. Be excited that you are living on this earth today and that you have the ability to change your perspective. Be grateful that you are given this opportunity to give (serve) cheerfully, and then accept thankfully. Everyone will be blessed.
Answering the call can bring us such joy if we just choose to be the faithful stewards that we were called to be.
Whitney Schroeder is a Licensed Massage Therapist and co-owner of Massage Matters And Wellness in Mansfield, Ohio. Whitney is a graduate of Ontario High School and The University of Findlay. She is a serial entrepreneur with experience in video production, photography and massage. She resides in Mansfield with her two children, Addison and Brody. Running, hiking, weight training, reading, painting, photography and spending time with her family and friends are all blessings that fill her with joy.