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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Serving May NOT be our Spiritual Gift

Serving May NOT be our Spiritual Gift

My kids attended Vacation Bible School at our church two weeks ago.

The theme was Power Lab with scientific experiments. The stage was decorated with beakers. They made slime in the craft room and had bottled Coke erupting like a volcano in Recreation.

And there were water games. Soaking. Wet. Water. Games.

Of course, this was the highlight of the week. Because kids and water? They go together.

My kids came home wet and happy the first day. They made gooey glittery test tubes and slid down the enormous water slide.

The next day, my son entered the car wet and tired. My daughter? Dry as a bone. With an explanation.

"Mom, they choose one group each day to skip the water area and go into the serving room. The group spends the whole time making the snacks for the rest of the kids," she said.

I thought this was a fabulous idea and told her so.

"You know what was weird, Mom? They acted like having us serve was as big a treat as playing in the water!" she said incredulously.

I hid my smile. "Well, honey, they are trying to teach you that serving is the greatest gift."

"Well. I think the slide would have been better."

My son patted her on the arm, leaving wet marks. Emphasis on him being wet.

On the third day, my son entered the car, dry, wearing his sister's expression from the day before. My daughter did the patting that day.

I shared this scripture with them in Ephesians 6: 7-8, "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does . . ."

I explained to my kids that when we serve others, we serve the Lord.

That's a hard lesson for an 8 and 6 year old. But an important one.

Who am I kidding? That's a hard lesson for me.

Our human nature is selfish. We want to take care of ourselves first and we usually think of ourselves before others. I couldn't help but think about my good intentions to help with VBS. My toddler was sick at the beginning of the week and I couldn't volunteer.

I decided to take the rest of the week and try to catch up on work at home.

But how could I expect my kids to learn about serving when I had decided to take the easy way out?

So, I showed up to help the last two days of VBS. Guess where they put me? Yep, the serving room.

The schedule planned for one group to serve twice. When I saw my daughter's group walk thru the door, I couldn't help but smile.

As we made Crosses out of Ritz crackers and squirt cheese, side-by-side, I knew that my daughter wasn't the only one that God wanted to teach about serving.

I needed the lesson too.


"Jesus, you were the greatest Servant of all. Thank you for teaching me by Your example. Help me to see opportunities to serve, to do it with a thankful heart and to do it unto You. Amen."

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Blogger Denise said...

Bless you sweetie.

July 8, 2008 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

I think one of the hardest jobs of my life has been being a mother. It's the most selfless job there is. You just can't be selfish or everyone around you is going to be miserable, including yourself. It was a hard lesson learned but now serving my family has become a wonderful ministry for me and I love it.Not saying that the selfishness monster does creep up now and again but not like he used to.
Great post!

July 8, 2008 at 5:07 AM  
Blogger Cindy Swanson said...

What a great idea, to impress on kids the importance of having a servant's heart! This is something I struggle with as well, but it's always a blessing when we serve. Thanks for reminding me of this.

July 8, 2008 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger marky said...

a good lesson for all of us to learn

July 8, 2008 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Very good point. I think many people expect that it is someone else's job to do the serving. For instance, I know that I do not have the spiritual gift of service. I do however have the spiritual gift of mercy. Does that mean I will never volunteer to serve. Also, I feel good about myself after having worked in service for the Lord. So, that is great the children are learning this lesson at such a young age.

July 8, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess what we are working on this week!!! Power Lab. lol I am hands deep in it right now preparing for the evening. I have the squeaky beakers Pr k so this lesson I guess wont be learned by them but is being learned by our other children. The Lord is so good.


July 8, 2008 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Neurotically Yours: said...

Thanks for sharing such a great lesson!

July 8, 2008 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

I think it can take a lifetime to learn to serve others. Other times, it becomes second nature. I suppose life is a learning experience. Thanks Cindi

July 8, 2008 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger MoziEsm√© said...

I love that VBS idea! And one more lesson from the kids . . . You're being a great model - because you're thinking about it and being intentional about it.

July 8, 2008 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

VBS...the host of all good servers! Thanks for doing your part and for passing a valuable teaching onto your children. The world is better for it.


July 8, 2008 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

That's funny. I think making crosses out of crackers sounds like fun!

I'm frantically making cardboard test tubes and green slime right now for our Power Lab in a week :) Why did I say I would serve in this way??? :)

July 9, 2008 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Patty Wysong said...

Yesterday was busy and I read this on the fly--great truth and convicting, too, wrapped in a fun package. GREAT!

July 9, 2008 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

Ah, service. So... Jesus like.

July 9, 2008 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

Truer words have not been spoken! Reading this late, but the message rings true any day!

July 20, 2008 at 12:14 PM  

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