Joni Eareckson Tada was paralyzed from the neck down at age 17, immediately becoming quadriplegic after diving into too-shallow waters in the Chesapeake Bay. Without aid, today Joni would be immobilized and incapable of managing even the most routine tasks of life.
During an interview with CNN host Larry King, Joni reflected on what it's like to rely on people who are willing to live beyond themselves. To King's question, "Does it annoy you that you're always dependent on others?" she replied:
Well, you know, I have an interesting perspective on depending on others. I think it gives people a chance to serve. And I'm not so much big on independence as I am on interdependence. I'm not talking about co-dependency, I'm talking about giving people the opportunity to (practice) love with its sleeves rolled up. And my life is pretty much the context to which people can assist me, I mean, it gives me such joy to be wheeling up to a door at a local mall that doesn't have one of those automatic openers and say, "Pardon me, could you open that up for me?" And then some gentle soul opens it up, and I say, "You're a good boy scout! Thank you, sir." I think that builds bridges between people with disabilities and (people who are) able-bodied.
Have you ever served someone in a way that helped meet one of their basic, everyday needs? What did you do and how did it feel to serve that way?
When you live beyond yourself, you become part of this God-designed interdependence, in which his children look after one another and help meet the needs of those around them. Your "good works" have the power to impact people's lives--even in very basic ways--and they fill up your soul like nothing else. Surely Jesus had this powerful potential of doing good in mind when he reminded us in Matthew 20:28 that, "...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve." Have you come to the place where you can put your name in this verse?
______________________________________ is not here to be served, but to serve.
If you are not yet able to affirm this with confidence, pause for a few minutes to ask for God's help. Consider writing out your prayer as you address these questions with him:
* Do I believe God has called me to focus on serving others? * Do I believe he has equipped me for service? * Do I have a vision for what it would look like to live beyond myself?
Have a great day and see who you can serve today!
Leon Burdette Adult Education/Ministry/Assimilation Pastor 770-428-2100, ext. 1120 firstname.lastname@example.org
"Becoming the Church Next Door" - Real Relationships - Selfless Service - Connecting People to Christ