Recently my wife and I flew down south for a weekend vacation. By the grace of God, we arrived safely at our destination, fraternized and frolicked with friends — and after reclining in some rare moments of relaxation, we made our way back to the airport only to discover that our flight back home had been delayed.
The flight was not delayed because of the weather. There were no mysterious mechanical malfunctions. The flight pattern itself was considered clear. The reason, however, that our flight was delayed was because the flight crew was short staffed and the airline pilot did not feel comfortable taking off without appropriate personnel to account for in every position.
Needless to say when some of us heard the reasoning why we were delayed, let’s just say—-we became “peeved and perturbed” at the prospect of our plans being changed. After all, some of us had major plans. Others needed to make critical connections.
Still others like my wife and I were just trying to get home.
Admittedly, I really wanted to get home too! Consequently, I did the only thing I could do – I began to pray. I said “Lord if it be in Your will for us to get home and be there for work tomorrow, You will make a way”.
No sooner than I had finished my prayer, a young lady, immaculately dressed, stepped up to the counter. She sagaciously shared with the clerk: “If you need somebody, I’m available to serve.” The lady herself was an airline attendant with the airline, and the reason why she was on the flight with us was because she had just won a free vacation. This particular flight was the first leg of her journey.
When the crew overheard the sacrifice she was making, they tried to talk her out of it but she would have none of it. She said “Yeah I’m going on vacation but I’m riding on this flight for free and because I’m riding for free I don’t mind serving so others can get where they need to be.”
Friends, I am of the belief that in the economy of God salvation is free. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus died on the cross and laid down His life as a ransom for us. The Bible says “no greater love hath no-one than this that a man would lay down his life for his friends” [John 15:13].
If this principle is true, then it follows that the greatest love is demonstrated in how you serve others.
We live in an age where people sign up to serve or commit to serve based off of what’s in it for them, as opposed to what’s in it for others. But if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was right, life’s most persistent question is “What Are You Doing For Others”. In other words, what commitments are you making that reflect the benefit of those other than yourself?
During the Month of February, in the Christian Tradition, many will begin the Lenten-Season, the 40-day period preceding the resurrection of the historical Jesus. This month, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 10.
Traditionally, people of this faith practice disciplines of abstinence or disengagement. That is, what things can one ‘give- up’ as a way of showing sacrifice and commitment, with an eye toward getting closer to God? While this is commendable, it should be noted that this is where the extent of the discipline stops.
Such practice, I believe is a ‘half-baked’ theology that solely focuses on one side of the proverbial coin. The other side of the coin involves disciplines of ‘engagement’. That is, what disciplines can one practice [engage] with the new space and times that the disciplines of abstinence [disengagement] have created?
Permit me to suggest that during this Lenten Season that you consider practicing the discipline of service. In particular, consider giving your time to the church or your preferred place of worship. Ponder tithing your time, talents, and gifts to benefit others. After all, salvation is free. Your service may be the key to helping others and yourself get to your next destination in the journey of life. Something to think about!
Be Encouraged and Keep Looking UP,
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