My first grade class at Bullock Elementary School was an unlikely but effective introduction to work, service, and self. I was unsure of what to expect or what was expected. There were things I did not know. As my first day progressed I realized a very important thing was missing. I did not know how to do those things the teacher said we would be learning. I was told “we will teach you”.
My first real job was a summer job at Kraft Foods in Garland Texas where my Grandfather worked for 33 years in the maintenance department as a “painter”. His work ethic and reputation for hard work gave him status beyond his title. There were things I did not know, things I was unsure about in regards to the work or what was or would be required. My Grandfathers advice was “you work hard, do what you are asked to do in-spite of what everyone else does”. “Be observant and follow the instruction you are given”. By following those simple instructions, by the end of the summer I was given the opportunity to work in “preferred” higher paying jobs along side senior employees with greater experience than myself. It was clear to me that having a good attitude, working hard, doing the things I was asked to do, provided opportunities, even though I had less experience.
My first sales job came with a quota, a very large territory, and a national product to match. Again I was unsure; there were things I did not know, my sales managers advice was “if you are coachable and teachable you will do well”. By following that advice I enjoyed a successful sales career that lasted 23 years and allowed me access to numerous and diverse industries, high level decision makers, as well as a great income.
Things I didn’t know: We will teach you, if you are coachable and teachable you will do well. “Work hard, do what you are asked to do in-spite of what everyone else does”. “Be observant and follow the instruction you are given”. Advice from people I respect and trust that has made an ongoing contribution to my personal and business life.
What you think about matters:” Thoughts are our actions in rehearsal”:
What we think about most finds its way into our actions. Be carful what you think about most! Do you allow your mind to keep those thoughts that are positive, that give encouragement to you, that are worth your time and create a sense of wellbeing and accomplishment? Those that don’t kick um out!
To make a difference: That part of us that desires to be set a part, to matter, to contribute beyond “self”, to know our purpose, and to make a contribution to the welfare of “others”. What is service: Webster defines it as: the occupation or function of serving, employment as a servant, the work performed by one that serves, or contribution to the welfare of others.
To serve: The occupation or function of serving, to make a difference: a characteristic that distinguishes one from another or from the average: a significant change in or effect on a situation.
The Christian life is an ongoing opportunity to serve, to be a servant/Christ like, and to contribute to the welfare of others. Philippians 4:9 Practice what you have learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace, of untroubled, undisturbed well being, will be with you. Mark10:45 for even the Son of God came not to have service rendered to him but to serve and to give for many.
Just recently on my way back to the hotel from a long day, while sitting in my vehicle at a traffic light, a man crossing the street caught my attention. He was very tall, his cloths not particularly dirty or torn, he walked leaning on a stick with an irregular almost odd gate. He had a sign under his arm that I could not read from a distance but clearly to display his request, for some assitance. I wasnt sure if he was homeless, and without resources, but clearly in need. Walking for him was dificult, almost hard to watch, let alone move quickly across the intersection. As I watched from my comfortable vehicle several cars back I was prompted in my spirit to take action. That’s not always so. It’s different when the Spirit prompts me. It’s as if I am pushed to move to take action to not think but respond. I was in the far right lane and traffic had already started to move. The man had made his way a cross the intersection and looked as if he was going to sit down on an embankment. My mind quickly thought I will not be able to get over to him before other cars come off the freeway and quickly fill up the lanes.
I looked in my mirror and there was not a single car behind me or to my left. I maneuvered over to the left lane hoping I would be able to some how quickly pull up to where he was about to sit down and hand him all the folded bills I had in my wallet. Amazingly as if it was orchestrated he suddenly turned back towards the street and we both arrived at a point in the left lane he at the edge of the grass and me perfectly positioned as if meant to be. I rolled down the window and handed him the money. I noticed he had a cross and a small leather strap hanging from his neck. I said the only thing that would come out of my mouth “God bless you and please take care of your self”.
He never saw me because he had his back to the street and traffic. Watching it all take place it was if he and I had been prompted to move in the precise and exact way necessary to connect. As I drove off through the still green traffic light no traffic behind me, my eyes filled with tears. My thoughts upon seeing this broken man walking with such struggle was “don’t you drive past this man you take action”. Devine appointments are truly miraculous, answered prayers happen in a twinkling of an eye often with stunning precision. Listen to your heart as the Holy Spirit prompts you into action. Step out in faith lead by the Spirit not pushed, discouraged, or dissuaded by the flesh.
I have no way of knowing what his needs may truely be only what I saw with my eyes, and prompted to do in my spirit. I came away thankful, a little more focused, with greater clarity of what my heavenly Father is asking of me.
Reach out speak softly of those things that heal. Kind words spoken honestly give birth to new hope.
May God bless your life as you pursue him! May Gods love and kindness direct you as we are renewed and strengthened as he does a new thing in our lives, the journey to our new life is on foot, led by the Spirit, to serve Him, and others.