You may have noticed my love post came out not on Valentine’s Day, but my serve post did. That was coincidental. I didn’t plan on writing about love on Valentine’s Day or any day near it. I have reasons, one of which includes: I really don’t like much about Valentine’s Day. Well, there, I said it. Out loud and on paper. Uh cyber-paper.
And no, it’s not because I have religious leanings away from the holiday. It’s more because … well, that’s for another day, so on with today’s post which has nothing to do with love. Or does it?
Year ago, I was told by an extended family member that every time she saw me I was serving. Like Cinderella.
But was I like Cinderella?
As soon as Cinderella got her chance, she bolted from the house on the block to the palace on the hill. She served, but only because she had to.
Was that what I was doing? Could I lay my sweeper down at any point and walk away? Or was I bound to a lifetime of drudgery?
I decided to test it out.
Testing for Cinderella-Itis
I stopped serving. At least at home.
I even made a declaration and quit my job as home housekeeper. I let the family do the work.
The clincher was: I expected them to keep it as clean as they expected me to keep it.
Looking back, I had been like a dam holding back water. [Insert dam jokes here.]
Beware Rushing Water
I won’t get into all the rushing water details, but just know it was better to be on the hillside looking down than in the valley below. It wasn’t comfortable. For anyone, including the observer. But it was good for everyone.
They learned that messes are not self-cleaning.
I learned that I serve because I choose to.
Reality Check: I don’t serve in some ways I used to enjoy because it causes less drama in the family if I step away. I say, “I used to enjoy” because if I had to do them now, I’m not sure I would enjoy them as much as I once did. Time will tell, but I’d rather the clock stop.
Love and Serving: Mutually Dependent?
So what about serving and love?
Is all love about serving? Is all serving about love?
I don’t think they are dependent on one another. I think many serve out of fear rather than love. And that just causes more pain rather than less.
As we serve at home and beyond, let’s ask ourselves:
- Are we serving like Cinderella?
- Doing our chores until we can get out of the lodge?
- Or are we serving like, well, to go to the ultimate example, are we serving like Christ? (Insert personal failure buzzer here.)
- Or are we serving to get something back from someone? Appreciation? Acceptance? A free pass to be mean? (Sorry, I do know people like that.)
It’s ok to bide our time and serve while we are waiting for something better. Just know that there will be ways to serve in the palace, too.
It’s ok to serve like Christ. Well, duh, right?
It’s ok to serve with hopes of something in return. We just can’t make it our expectation, or chances are our expectations will be dashed.
It’s Your Turn
This isn’t an “I have the answers” post. This is a “I’m walking in the mud with you” post. And better yet, so is God. And He’s at work full-time, ‘round the clock, ‘round the eternity. Come hell* or high water.
*Yes, I said hell. It’s a real place. With real consequences. Mainly, not having any access whatsoever to the comforts, direct or indirect, of God’s presence. He served Himself on a cross for our sins, so we could walk with Him here and hereafter. You could say, “at home and beyond.”
He offers us the choice to make. He won’t force it upon us. Where is the love in that?
If we are going to serve anyone, let’s make it Someone worth serving, filtering our earthly service through our heavenly one.