Monday, March 2, 2009

ability to be of service

How often do we casually throw out the statement
"If you need anything,
give me a call"
We know that more than likely we won't get called
and we hope if we do--
it will come at a convenient time.
Let's face it--
If we are going to give service
we want it to be convenient.
Service is so much easier given that way...
but that is not how it usually works.

I have been on the receiving end of service
and i did everything in my power
NOT to ask for help.

When i was on bed rest--(not supposed to be doing anything) i had little ones and a home to keep up. I would take the entire day to clean the bathroom. I would sit in the tub and clean it and then lay back down. Then i would do the sink and lay back down....everything was broken down into parts and i would do a part and then rest. I knew i wasn't supposed to be doing any of it--but i couldn't bring myself to ask for help--to impose on someones life.
When my doctor found out what i had done he was UPSET. He knew that there were woman in the church that would be willing to help me--and how dare i deny them that opportunity for blessings...
Asking is one of the hardest things to do--
so i decided that i would (try) to never make someone who was asking feel like an imposition. Today i had that chance...

I have a crazy week. So much to do...not enough time--(unless i give up sleeping.) I am feeling stress (something i don't normally deal with) about everything i need to accomplish. Today was the bulk of time I had to get things done--I had just gotten started on a project that i had a deadline for. I needed to get an upholstery project done before i left town. I was thinking about my girlfriend who needs rides on a weekly basis, but i had not seen the sign up the day before at church. I figured it was a good thing because I DID NOT need one more thing to do this week. I was just getting into a groove when i got a call. My friend (who is not able to drive because of medical reasons)was stranded. Her ride had not shown up to take her to a doctors appointment. I live just around the corner from her and i have told her if that ever happened to call me...and she did. While i was glad that she felt comfortable enough to call I knew what i needed to get done. It wasn't even a moment of thought before i said i would be there in a minute to pick her up. I kept affirming to myself that it would all work out--that i would be blessed. I didn't know how, but i knew I would. It ended up taking more time than i thought it would--my friend needed to talk--and I did not want to rush off. I still wondered how i was going to get everything done that i needed to do this week but i knew it would all work out...

I received a phone call later tonight taking me off the hook. All my stress to get my project done and I was given a reprieve. The woman that i was doing the work for was leaving town earlier than i had projected and there was no way it was going to be done by then. I would have to finish it when i got home from vacation--but it would work out. Even if i had said NO to my friend and had stayed and worked I don't think i would have had it done by the earlier date--so see...everything does work out...we are blessed and i love the fact that i was able to serve.
This scripture keeps coming to my mind

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”
Matthew 25:40

This was taken from a talk by J. Richard Clark --entitled Love Extends beyond Convenience
A noted columnist, Erma Bombeck, described an experience which reminds us that little things can mean a lot. She recounted a frustrating morning of numerous phone calls and interrupting conversations before leaving for the airport.
And then she said, “[At last] there were thirty whole beautiful minutes before my plane took off—time for me to be alone with my own thoughts, to open a book and let my mind wander. A voice next to me belonging to an elderly woman said, ‘I’ll bet it’s cold in Chicago.’
“Stone-faced, I answered, ‘It’s likely.’
“ ‘I haven’t been to Chicago in nearly three years,’ she persisted. ‘My son lives there.’
“ ‘That’s nice,’ I said, my eyes intent on the printed page of the book.
“ ‘My husband’s body is on this plane. We’ve been married for fifty-three years. I don’t drive, you know, and when he died a nun drove me from the hospital. We aren’t even Catholic. The funeral director let me come to the airport with him.’ ”
Erma said, “I don’t think I have ever detested myself more than I did at that moment. Another human being was screaming to be heard and in desperation had turned to a cold stranger who was more interested in a novel than in the real-life drama at her elbow.
“All she needed was a listener—no advice, wisdom, experience, money, assistance, expertise or even compassion—but just a minute or two to listen. …
“She talked numbly and steadily until we boarded the plane, [and] then found her seat in another section. As I hung up my coat, I heard her plaintive voice say to her seat companion, ‘I’ll bet it’s cold in Chicago.’
“I prayed, ‘Please, God, let her listen.’ ”
(Erma Bombeck, “Are You Listening?” If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries—What Am I Doing in the Pits?, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1978, pp. 197–98.)
How many times have we observed a benevolent act performed by someone and asked ourselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Those who do the deeds we would have liked to do seem to have mastered the art of awareness. They have formed the habit of being sensitive to the needs of others before they think of themselves. How swiftly opportunity slips away, and we are left with another unfulfilled good intention. If only our acts of kindness could equal the righteous desires of our hearts.

Brothers and sisters, what I have tried to illustrate this morning is that if we are to walk in the steps of the Savior, we cannot do it without personal sacrifice and sincere involvement. It is rarely convenient; but love extends beyond convenience for those who have conditioned themselves to look for opportunities to serve. I believe that the Savior was equipped to accomplish His mission not only through His parentage, but because of His thirty years of preparation in developing an awareness of and a sensitivity to the needs of His fellowmen.
“When you want to get the job done,
get the busy man to do it,”

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