When I was subbing in an elementary school class recently, I would ask the class a question and most of the kids would almost come out of there seats, waving their hands in the air. Some of them would even say things like, “I know!” or “Pick me!” They couldn’t wait to share their knowledge or come up to the board.
I remember similar instances when I was in school and I also remember that with each passing year in school, the desire to participate enthusiastically, dropped off. The students who wanted to answer were much fewer in number and no one was particularly excited anymore.
I think our faith walk can unfortunately, be much the same. When we first get to know Jesus, we want to shout it from the mountaintops and we are willing to serve just about anywhere, but as the years go by, we are too often just willing to sit in the church pew like that old desk from high school and simply listen.
For many of us, our children provide a reawakening and we get involved in the things they are involved in church, because they are involved. We help with Vacation Bible School when they are in it and we stop when they finish. We help with the youth program because they are in it and then we stop when they graduate. When our last one leaves the nest, we are tempted to once again, sit in the pew and listen. After all, we have done our part, right? We have paid our dues. It’s somebody else’s turn.
Maybe somebody else should step in and help with those particular programs and maybe they will. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a season of rest if we have served non-stop for many years. Furthermore, not everyone feels called to help with the children or youth in a church. Either you find children charming or incredibly annoying. You may have found your patience pushed to the limits with your own teenagers, much less someone else’s.
But, here’s the deal; we are all called to serve in some way within our church community and as a church community. There is no expiration date on our call to service. If we are breathing and still up and moving around, we are supposed to love and serve those around us in some capacity. I don’t think we ever are supposed to retire from working for Jesus and bringing people into the kingdom. There is no magic age where we can just sit on the pews.
Besides, and this truth is a huge one; the older we get and the longer we walk the journey, the more wisdom we have to share. Why would we want to keep what we have learned about our faith to ourselves when there is a world literally dying to hear it. We are called to let our light shine until we are called home.
While we may have passed the exciting, “Pick me!” stage, at some point, we should be asking God to “Reuse me!” and “Please help me find a way to share!” And you know what? He will. God is unbelievably gifted at recycling our experiences and using them for something new. If you are not currently serving anywhere, just ask God about it and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised and excited.
How are you doing at serving? I’d love to hear from you.
Have an awesome day!