22 August 2009

Excuse Me, Where's the Pulpit?

Today we worked at another mission serving food. The mission is called Market Street Mission in Morristown, NJ. We worked for a couple hours serving food to the men in their rehab program, as well as serving to people in the community. As I was serving I was reminded of something I wrote in my July newsletter and I wanted to share it with you:

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17 NKJV)

I thought about this verse the other day as I was wrapping forks into napkins at a homeless shelter where I volunteered to serve food. I found myself wondering why I was doing that instead of all that I am qualified to do. A part of me wanted to ask, “Excuse me, but where’s the pulpit? I mean, I went to Bible School, I deserve better than this.” Thankfully I realized before it reached that point that it is not about me, it’s about the need. “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;” (Isa 1:19 NKJV) God needs us to not only be obedient, but to be willing to do whatever He needs. It’s only through our willingness and obedience that the love of God will truly shine through to others.

The reason I wanted to share this is because I had some of the same thoughts tonight. It seems as though Satan wants to get me off track by bringing my pride into play. He wants me to continue to think about me instead of others. The whole purpose for my journey is to look for God in everything I do. It is to serve those in need in whatever capacity needed. It doesn’t take long to realize where God is in the 100 or so people we served tonight. He is with them through the toughest moments. He is working in the littlest things, including meals, to touch their hearts and show His love.

Market Street Mission is a place where people with drug and alcohol addiction can come for help. It is a place they can clean up and learn how to stay clean. The people at Market Street also teach them life skills and help them to re-introduce themselves into society as an active citizen instead of a drug addict or alcoholic. They have numerous testimonies of how God has changed their lives and how it wouldn’t have been possible without Market Street Mission.

This brings me to the conclusion of what I am trying to say. The fact is most of the guys in this program have little hope of success without the help of others. Their success rides with those who surround them. Their biggest need right now is to know the love of God. The best way to show this love is through actions. Words will only go so far, it's actions that will stick for them. By doing the little things that many of us think we are above, we can show this love to them. Things like serving food, cleaning dishes, doing laundry, cleaning toilets, or even folding newsletters for the organizations that work with these guys. I’ve heard it said many times in sports that it’s not only the big names that put 'W’s" on the board, but also the everyday grind of the average player. I would consider myself the average player, the guy who has a great day in the game once in awhile, but mostly I have a bunch of average days that in the end add up to making a difference. The most valuable players in baseball are the utility players, the ones who will come in and do whatever is needed, and put their whole heart in it. The ones who want to win. They are the ones that fill the holes of the big names who get injured or need a night off. Without these guys there is no depth to the team. Without these guys a great team will become average.

We may not have the opportunity to play in what we would consider the big game, but we do have the opportunity to play. I was reminded tonight that it is not the size of the act that makes the difference, but the heart that is behind it. I know that most of the people that I have served food to over the past couple months will never get to know me. They will never know my name, or what I do, but one thing they will carry with them is that I did it. I pray that they will know why I do it. I do it because the love of God is shed abroad in my heart. I do it because Jesus died on a cross for all of them as well. I do it because if I didn’t, who would? The need is so great, but so many times I didn’t do it because I was “better” than that, or I was “too well trained” to stoop to that level. I didn't do it because my head got ahead of my heart. My ego took control and wouldn't allow me to. All of these things are lies. All of these reasons amount to nothing in our lives. The truth is that it really isn’t about me, but about the need.

I am reminded of John 13: 1-20. It is the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. The reason He did it was to show them how they were supposed to be. He was a living example to us. In Jesus day that was one of the lowest positions and Jesus humbled Himself and became a servant to all around Him. He did it to show them how to pass on His love. Even in His position, He did it. So it comes down to this, if He can do it, so can I.

1 comment:

  1. "Preach the Gospel to all the world; if necessary, use words"- St. Francis of Assisi


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