“Anyone can serve”

I love this sweet photograph of the monkey feeding the tiger cub, but I love the quote from Dr. King even more.

“Anybody can serve.”

We don’t need any special skills or talents, just a willing, caring heart. A heart that cares for other people or creatures or a cause beyond ourselves. A willingness to be inconvenienced or torn from our comfort zone.

Service can be hard … messy … and scary. It can seem fruitless at times. But it almost always is rewarding, because even if the recipients of your service are ungrateful or unknowing, it is the very act of giving of yourself that brings the reward.

Where have you been called to serve? Don’t know that you have been called? Well, do you have strong feelings about a certain group of people or issue? Do you have heart-wrenching compassion for those in unfortunate situations? Do you have a continuous nagging in your mind to be involved in those situations — to “do something“? If so, you likely have been called.

So, what’s next? First, pray for God’s guidance, then keep your eyes and ears open for the opportunity God has just for you. If you have truly been called, He’ll leave no doubt as to where you are being called to serve.

That’s how I’ve known where to serve in my life — by praying & watching. As a young adult I was called to work with children, which I fulfilled by teaching Sunday school and GA’s at my local church. Then God spoke to me — in a very audible way, I should add — while I was traveling overseas with my job. He told me to take care of the unloved children.

I knew I wasn’t being called as a missionary to this foreign country, but beyond that, I was clueless as to what that meant. So, I just kept my eyes open while I continued to work with kids in my close circle.

Over the next several years, I started feeling great compassion for the poor living in our inner city. When my church youth group held vacation Bible school at an inner city church, I tagged along and served snacks to about 40 children attending one evening. I think I fell in love with those children and that congregation that first night!

After that, I kept looking for ways to get more involved. A few months later, a few young men from church started a tutoring ministry with the inner city kids, and I signed up. That was more than five years ago, and I have no doubt that tutoring these children is my call to service!

Whatever our station in life, we are called to serve somewhere in some capacity. From serving refreshments at VBS, to teaching Sunday school, to rocking newborns, to fundraising for medical research, to rescuing puppies, … the list goes on and on.

For those of us called to be single, whether for life or for a season, we are given, I believe, special favor in order to give of ourselves in a way married people cannot. Yes, serving can be inconvenient, but ignoring our call will make our lives empty and shallow, no matter how busy we make ourselves. Service fulfills our purpose on Earth, if only we answer the call. Anyone can do it.

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About Simply...Selah

PR professor and follower of Christ.
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