As many of you know, possibly because Pastor Nick continues to drop references to torn Achilles tendons, I had surgery on mine about a month ago. Though the healing process is going fine, it is easy for me to think about the things I am missing out on or am unable to do because of my injury. I quickly default to thinking only about myself, and about the inconveniences and discomfort I’m enduring. Time and time again, I need reminders to get my head up and focus on something other than myself.
This past Friday, I took my oldest daughter to work with me at the church. She was doing school remotely because of a pipe bursting at her school. Just as I viewed my injury as an inconvenience, the extra monitoring, computer help, and distraction, were an inconvenience. I had a bunch of work to do, including a certain newsletter to write for this week.
As I was working in my office, my daughter was on a zoom call for school. Her teacher asked each student to share a good thing with the rest of the class who were gathered on the video chat. Some students spoke about an upcoming vacation or a trip to the trampoline park. I wondered what my first grader was going to share. When it was her turn, she said, “My good thing is that I got to come to my Daddy’s office and work with him today.” Ouch! That was the perfect measure of sweetness and conviction I needed to hear!
Life is full of distractions and discouragements. But the simple truth remains that every day we have opportunities to be a blessing to others. We can offer a word of encouragement or ask a question or two to show we care. With all that is happening around us, it is easy to miss these God-given moments of opportunity. My daughter’s words were a reminder of these moment-by-moment choices we all make, sometimes without even realizing it.
I also recently heard the advice, “If you are feeling depressed, try serving someone.” Though it may not cure everything, serving is a helpful antidote to self-pity and self-centeredness. This week, I pray that our eyes can be lifted from ourselves to the One who does not need anyone and yet who seeks to serve. Let us look to Jesus and his ways of loving others. And then, as you interact with friends, family members, co-workers, and strangers, remember that you have a great potential to bless and serve them!
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Just a reminder for you and me… I know I need it!