“Summer is usually a time in which we pull back. We vacay. We relax. Rather, let this be a time in which we push forward and serve others,” Pastor Aldger Armstead of the Woodlawn campus of Church of the Highlands stated yesterday.
This has echoed in my heart ever since. Summer is obviously a more laid back time of the year. You envision yourself on the beach, sipping your favorite drink and catching up on your much anticipated reading list. It’s a selfish time, but shouldn’t it be? We all deserve a break from the monotonous eight hour work day.
But how often do we serve others? And what does it truly mean? When I personally think about the term, I have to put myself aside for a moment, lay down my personal agendas and look to the needs of those around. This is a counter culture mindset. This goes against the idiom of “every man for himself.”
Our minds are often cluttered with daily obligations, career goals and what we’ll eat for dinner. Believe me, I’ve seen it on the Facebook feed. But when was the last time, you took an opportunity to help someone in an unfortunate situation?
Sometimes we need a reminder that our problems really are not problems at all. Sometimes we need to look beyond ourselves, reach down our hand and help lift someone to a better position. I just wonder if we did this more often if it would create a beautiful ripple in the body of water we are in.
I don’t typically affiliate myself with a particular group of people. But I can’t deny the inspiration I gather when at Church of the Highlands, no matter the reservations I had when first attending a large church. On July 11th, Church of the Highlands will be serving the Birmingham community through various ways, whether it be mowing the grass of an elderly person’s home, volunteering at women’s shelter or helping create a clean and safe area for children in the inner city. The last Serve Day consisted of 16,000 individuals serving the Birmingham area. Imagine what impact 16,000 people has on a community? “That’s 16,000 paint brushes,” Pastor Chris Hodges said in the Sunday message.
As a Christian, the purpose of using one’s gifts in service is to show others the love of Christ:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
Does serving help one’s immediate needs? Of course. Will those problems still exist? Of course. However, the impact of serving can create a lasting impression, hopefully a change in a person’s heart. We as mere humans do not have the power to make an everlasting difference with a paint brush. Through Christ we can. To shed light in a dark world and offer hope through a message of grace is why we serve.
I just wonder if this summer while you are planning your yearly vacation, if you would pencil in a time to serve.
Article by Brittany Windle