This week I flew to Orlando. No, I didn’t go in search of the fun most people think of when they think of Orlando, Florida: no Disney World, no Universal Studios.
Instead, I went to serve.
One of the truths of serving others is we gain more than if we’d gone in search of being served.
My class was fantastic. They were fun. They listened, engaged with me, and embraced the training I provided.
I haven’t had much opportunity to travel in the past two years. Being the guardian of two young children tends to rein in the ability to leave town for several days week after week.
My grandchildren’s counselor got excited when I told her I had been away for three days. “Did you read? Did you relax? Did you get some peace and quiet?”
Nope. I got less sleep than I would at home. I worked right up until bedtime preparing for the next day. I spent as much time as I could with the other trainers when I wasn’t in the classroom.
But I found joy in this.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11
Jesus found times of peace and solitude, but he came to serve, not to be served. And in so doing, I believe he found joy. If he’d grumped around tired and worn out, no one would have followed him. Just a few verses later, Paul alludes to this:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16
So serving is where it’s at. I served and through that service I received:
- Time with old friends
- A new friend whom I hope will become a great friend
- Conversations with people about what matters to them and seeing their eyes light up
- Laughter, lots of it
- Heartfelt thanks for helping people do their jobs well
- The camaraderie of 45 trainees I will probably never see again, but who touched my life in a very positive way
- A change of pace for a few days
- Service from those hired to make sure I had everything I needed to do my job well, including:
- Waiters who brought me non-dairy milk
- Food servers who replenished the buffet just as I reached the empty dishes
- Meeting event people who made sure I had everything I needed and did so without complaint
- Trainers who jumped in with tips and tricks
- Several assistant “trainers” who made sure my classroom kept moving forward
- Managers (internal and external) who checked with me on time and needs
- Safe trips there and back
- A husband who stepped up to care for the grandchildren by himself while I was gone (I know how hard this is)
Where do you serve?