Last Sunday after church, I was supposed to go to a fund raising luncheon for the local Kiwanis Club. Fried chicken dinners are an occupational hazard, as you may know. I intended to go, until my son asked if I would go to lunch with him and some of his friends.
If you are a parent of a teen, you are aware that a teenage boy rarely wants dad tagging along. When those moments arise, you have to take advantage of them. So on this day, I would bite the bullet, let someone else have my chicken and ham dinner with all the fixings, and go with my son.
I ended up sitting several tables away from him with some other parents. Suddenly, a young (inexperienced) waitress, who was waiting on our table, came out with a food tray that was overloaded (to say the least). Just as she passed behind my son, the tray became unbalanced and food went everywhere.
You find out a great deal about people when the unexpected happens. The young girl was nearly in tears, on her hands and knees trying to clean up this colossal mess. Some of the boys at the table were oblivious, never seeing what had occurred. Others watched her with a silly grin on their face (in their words: "you know...because she was, like, pretty and stuff"). A couple of boys verbally made fun of her, within earshot no less.
My son got up out of his chair, got on his knees alongside the young lady, and helped her clean up her mess. He told her it was okay and that this sort of thing happens to everyone at some point. All I could think of while watching Average Joe Jr. was, "I'm so proud of him...he's been paying attention." ...
... Prior to this happening, I had just finished teaching about the difference between "doing acts of service," and "being a servant."
Usually, in a Christian setting, when we "do acts of service," we are doing something that we WANT to do. We may see it as a need, but also we see it as something we have chosen to do because it interests us. We may even possess unique skills to do this type of service. And please don't misunderstand me, this type of service is God-honoring and perfectly pleasing to Him.
But when we choose to "be a servant," we are willing to go outside our comfort zone, see the opportunities to serve, and meet them in spite of their uncomfortable nature.
There is a difference! ...
My son has given me many proud moments. But I'm not sure I have ever been as proud of him as I was on this Sunday afternoon. As long as I live, I'll never forget how I felt watching him get on his knees to serve.
I'm sure our Father in heaven feels the same way when we become "servants."