Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Less than a month ago I had my third baby, so I've been a (thankful) recipient of much service. As I've reflected on the types of service people do, I've made a few observations on different forms of service.
1. No Service.
As a member of the Church, I think it's hard to imagine life without service. Service seems to be an integral part of the Church, and we can't ever seem to get away from it! We may serve because it's our calling, or an assignment, or voluntary. I suppose some people don't do service as I've observed that the "food co-op" that we're a part of encourages some sort of service by members each year. (Each YEAR? I ask.) I didn't realize it was an option to not serve!
2. Service when Convenient.
Sometimes we serve when it is convenient with our schedules. If it's not convenient, we don't do it. If we remember the opportunity, then great, but if we forget, oh well.
3. Service when Asked.
Sometimes someone asks us for service and we willingly do it. We may not know how to help the person who has asked, so we are glad they did ask.
4. Seeking out Service.
This is when we see a need and we take care of it. We are "observationally literate." My mom is an excellent example of this. She told me that she and my sister were going to come be my "merry maids" for an hour. They came and cleaned my house, and it was wonderful! My mom also snuck over at 6:00 a.m. two times to pull weeds in the yard.
I also have neighbors who see needs and take care of them: one showed up up with a picnic lunch/dinner one day that could be used now or later. Another dropped by enchiladas ready for the oven or the freezer.
In my previous life (the one before children), I worked for LDS Employment (they help people find work and educational opportunities and train Church leaders to assist members of their congregations in doing such). We strongly encouraged Church leaders to seek out those in need and not just wait for the needy to show up for help.
Now some may say, "But what if a person doesn't want service?" Well, maybe that's a pride issue that person needs to deal with. Some may also feel that a person doesn't deserve service. In that case, we are not the judge, but need to listen to the Holy Ghost to determine when it is right to give service.
I've recently compared service to our Fast Offerings (voluntary monetary donations to the Church to assist those in need). We are encouraged to give a generous fast offering, enough that it hurts (or at least that we can feel it). Perhaps this is how we should treat service. Are we serving enough that we are rearranging our schedules? Is it just a little inconvenient, but not so inconvenient that we don't like it? Are we sacrificing to serve? Are we showing charity to others through our service? Are we exemplifying the Savior in our service? Are we doing the things He would do?
I hope I will seek out those in need and be happy to serve. The more we serve, the happier this world will be, and people will feel loved and taken care of.