***This is the 13th entry in my This I Believe series.***
Well, it’s been months since I’ve last contributed to my goal of completing my own This I Believe series that I began last fall with my Composition kids. I’m finishing these last couple, whether anyone reads them or not!
I know what I want to believe about service, what I feel that I inherently do believe about service, but I’m the first to admit that I am not absolute in my devotion to carving out the time necessary to make this a habit in my life. There’s always more that I, we, you can do to serve others. My belief that service is right, good, necessary all stem from my faith, but I don’t believe that it has to be. To me, it’s a bit nebulous because “we” want to stereotype that as something that “good people” do, and “good people” are those who are “religious” or “go to church” or what have you. But certainly, one can fail to fulfill their need to attend organized church and still succeed in a deep understanding of what service is to one another.
I know that service makes me feel good, but about what? Myself? My world? My community? Do I feel good because I realize anew all that I have to be thankful for? Do I feel good because there’s no greater commitment to humanity than to serve others above ourselves? I like to think that the latter is the pivotal reason why people continue to serve each other. I’m always going to play the optimist because as far as I have seen, witnessed or experienced in my few, cognizant years, people always step up and help when the rough things happen. Not only that, but who hasn’t witnessed someone perform a simple act of kindness for a random stranger for no apparent reason?
I believe that such simple acts of kindness are a necessary act of service if we are to communicate and live together as a unified society, whether that is city, state, country, or world. We must help each other out. We must. It’s that simple. I believe that to be true, fundamentally and wholeheartedly. I feel this way about service much as I do about my faith—it just is, it just must be so.
I believe that there is a variety of services that we must perform, not only to ourselves but also to our world (which, really, all comes back to serving ourselves also). If we want to live in community, we have to include service to this phenomenal world that God has given us to take care of. We are stewards of the Earth just as much as we called to serve each other.
I believe in the ideology of being a servant. We sang this hymn at our wedding, and the words are just as applicable here: “Will you let me be your servant/let me be as Christ to you?/Pray that I might have the grace/to let me your servant, too.” There’s a pretty heavy message in this simple Brethren hymn; can we not only serve each other but allow others to serve us, too?