I Want To Do Better
Every summer, my sister and I would go on a short trip before we headed back to the classroom to teach in September. One August we headed up to Lake Chautauqua in New York. We drove the back roads on the way home through northern Pennsylvania in hopes of finding a local diner for lunch.
As we drove through a lovely neighborhood near a town’s main street, we spotted a bored eight or nine-year-old boy seated at a grey card table with a Tupperware pitcher of pale, yellow lemonade, a tower of Dixie cups and a homemade sign hanging over the table’s edge that read, “Lemonade 10 cents”. We pulled over, got out and walked back to the young entrepreneur. My sister said, “We’ll take two cups of your lemonade.
The Norman Rockwell-ish boy came alive and poured three inches of pale yellow, lukewarm, lemon-flavored water into paper cups. My sister handed a dollar to him and said, “You can keep the change.”
With a shocked look, this newly energized salesman looked at the dollar, looked up at my sister, looked back at the dollar and then looking at no one said in awe, “Yinz are lucky! I was just gettin’ ready to close.”
Maybe it’s a stretch, but I often think of that mixed up gratitude when it comes to serving God in the church. In my childish pride, I can almost think those exact words after I have served Him or have done something for Him, (without using the word “lucky” of course, because that is not a word we use in the church).
But the thought is similar:
Instead of gratitude for strength to be able to pick up a bit of litter in the church lot, hold a door for a visitor, compliment a fellow volunteer on their work, or empty trash cans after a Sunday service, I sometimes smugly think that I am a good person. God is blessed to have me on His side: “yinz are blessed to have me…”
I know that with those thoughts I am like that young, immature entrepreneur when I look past the blessing I receive when I get to serve in His work. I can easily miss the spiritual privilege as well as the privilege of physically being able to give back to the God of the universe... Jesus served all of mankind… not for His Glory but for the Glory of the Father.
Philippians 2: 3 - 5 – “Lord, let me do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility help me to consider others as better than myself. Help me to not look out only for my own interest, but also for the interests of others. My attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
From Prayers for Today by Kurt Bjorklund, the (partial) prayer of surrender by Francis of Assisi:
“O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me. From the desire...of being esteemed...of being loved...of being praised...of being preferred to others...of being consulted...of being approved, deliver me Jesus.”
I really want to do better giving God the glory when I serve.
Kay has served as Director of Women's Ministry in Wexford first as a volunteer and then on staff since 2006. In 2018, she transitioned from Wexford to the Butler County campus.
Her joy in ministry is in hearing women talk about their spiritual growth or newfound faith in Jesus, whether through a weekend message, Life Group experience, women's Bible study, special event, a mentoring relationship or at a women's retreat.
She and her husband Matt, their two sons, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren live in Butler.