I read this post from Leneita Fix that was posted on YouthworkTalk.com and I loved it! It’s a post that will make you look inward at yourself and also has some great ideas to get students into a “serving” mindset. Here’s a tease below, the rest can be found here.
Coming around the corner at the grocery store an audible groan escaped my lips. Seriously, there were three lanes open in a store that called for 15? As you can imagine each line swayed and wrapped back far. Looking at the frozen food in my cart I hoped we would make it home intact.
About 10 minutes into the wait a woman from another line started huffing and puffing throughout each line complaining loudly at how awful the service was. Just then another register opened, but I couldn’t get there fast enough. Finally another 5 minutes and the manager pointed to me, and said, “C’mon over!” Noticing a gentleman with fewer groceries trying to make his way over, I could see his obvious frustration that my bulging cart would jump to the forefront. Thinking I was being “Christian,” I invited him to go first; as I knew he had been waiting awhile as well. “Would you mind if we let this woman be in front?” he inquired, “She has been waiting a long time too.” “Of course I responded.” My thought was, “What a nice guy, he gets offered the first slot and gives it away.” I believed he would then take his place right behind me. Instead he made space for the woman and then himself. I admit, I was annoyed. My offer was for one not two people with full carts to skip me. Looking at my face the guy let out a half- hearted, “Is this all right?” Mumbling under my breath I sputtered, “Well I would have stayed in my own line if it was going to be like this.”
As I brooded over the selfishness of line guy, (You want someone else to go first, then you go last.) I was struck by my own egotistical view. In the end I am still most important. I will serve, as long as I am able to control my service. As long as it doesn’t put me out then I am willing to give my time. Loving your neighbor as yourself or even dying to self is more work than I want to admit. Still I am complaining intermittently that I “serve” a myopic generation. They are apathetic, unable to see how spoiled they are as they live in an entitled state. So I want to teach them to look outward beyond the edge of their nose. My first inclination is to provide a “service” experience for them. Maybe we can raise money for an organization or take a trip. This will bring change, but they are merely a catalyst for transformation. If I struggle with my own selfishness, what are the “first” steps to teaching my youth to serve?
1. It’s About Lifestyle: I believe we need to teach our students to de-compartmentalize giving of themselves. It needs to become ingrained into the essence of our being. The “event” is only one facet of a much larger picture. Showing our students the power in unnoticed, un-qualified, day to day service is a powerful tool.