A friend told me that he saw a man mopping up a spill in a local 7-11 store. He said to the man who was mopping, “I assume you are the manager.” The bosses in stores get to do the dirty work. I hope it isn’t a secret that the higher you climb the ladder leading to heaven, the more you are expected to be a servant to others. God’s way is to promote us into becoming a person who serves everyone.
Ephesians 6:7 says, “Do your work, and be happy to do it. Work like you are serving the Lord, not like you are serving only men.” We all remember the story of how the mother of James and John came to Jesus and wanted to insure that here sons would be able to sit next to Jesus when he came into his kingdom. I can see the contemplative look on Jesus’ face because he knew the future of both of these men. He knew what they would suffer long before they would be ushered into HIS heavenly kingdom.
Thinking about James’ and John’s ambitious mother, I can’t help but contrast her attitude with the widow, Dorcus, who is introduced to us in Acts. Dorcus had died and the church wanted Peter to come and raise her from the dead. As Peter moved toward the place where the body lay, people pressed in to show Peter the clothes she had made for them and their children. They wept because of the many kind and generous acts that Dorcus had given to them.
Mom wanted James and John to be number one in the God’s kingdom. Dorcas knew how to be number one. She was a servant to everyone.
At Special Gathering, no one gets too big to do the dirty work. At our annual retreat camp, the Special Gathering staff often wear fanny packs. Some of the other campers wanted to have a fanny pack also. Somehow, these fanny packs became a symbol of important individuals. Until, during chapel services one year we showed people what was in the fanny packs. We carried rubber gloves and cleaning supplies because the people who wear the fanny packs get to clean up messes–nasty, bathroom messes.
Years ago, we had a staff person who told the rest of the staff that he wasn’t going to carry rubber gloves. He said that he didn‘t clean up messes any more that he had paid his dues. That was the wrong answer. As you can imagine, he wasn’t part of our staff for long after that.
God wants us all to be the servant. We elect deacons from our membership. These women and men are voted on by their peers–the members. They are asked to do the jobs that no one else wants to do. Everyone loves to push the wheelchairs, our deacons don‘t get to push the wheel chairs. Often they aren’t able to do the fun things that other members get to do. They get to clean the floors, set up tables and chairs. They are expected to ask our new members to join their clique’. Our deacons are expected to ask new folks to sit with them during worship.
The heart of a real man or woman of God must be to serve others. What are some of the things you have been asked to do that have not been enjoyable for you? How did you feel?