…“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6
Many Americans think about the 4th of July and conger up images of
fireworks, picnics, swimming and all kinds of family summer fun. I think of those things as well, but the 4thof July image that always blinks in my mind first; dirty roasters! For those readers not living here in Westphalia, let me interject. The St. Mary’s 4th of July picnic is a celebration of huge
proportion! Hundreds of folks come to town to celebrate and eat BBQ beef, gravy burgers or sausage and kraut. Pounds and pounds of meat are cooked and served that day, leaving behind a mountain of dirty roasters. As
you might imagine, an event this big requires the volunteer assistance of
everyone in the parish. For about 20 years, my work shift has been scrubbing roasters. I have never really minded the job because I’m an absolute wizard with a putty knife and five hour old, baked on gravy! (I have seriously considered adding this skill to my resume!) There is something to be said for doing a job and truly being able to clearly see the end result.
The truth is, I didn’t APPRECIATE my roaster scrubbing job until this year when I looked at it through different eyes. The eyes of a very holy and inspiring woman named, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. You may be wondering what a nun from India could possibly have to do with scorched sauerkraut! Well, here’s the connection; her entire life was dedicated to humble service to others. She did things nobody else wanted to do with people nobody else wanted to serve. She was able to sweetly find and serve God through each loving task performed for someone else’s benefit. Even after all she did for others; she consistently practiced acts of humility because it was through performing these acts that she was able to feel closest to God. Her favorite task to increase humility was to clean bathrooms. I don’t suppose there were any “scrubbing bubbles” involved either…it was a “roll up your sleeves, scrub the floor with an old toothbrush kind of cleaning.” That kind of humble service makes scrubbing those roasters seem like an afternoon by the pool sipping mint juleps!
We live in a world where we like convenience and service, but if we look at the words from the Apostle James, we quickly realize that God’s graces don’t stem from being great, important and served. His rich graces come from HUMBLE SERVICE done for others! When was the last time you completed a loving act of humble service for another? My mom said a million times as I grew up, “The greatest way to serve God is to serve others.” As each of those roasters were being cleaned, I called to mind someone who needed God’s healing, peace and comfort and taking my cue from Mother Teresa, the task was humbly and lovingly offered for their benefit. I fall so very short of her beautiful example, but people like her keep
A seed to plant: Throughout the upcoming week, purposefully complete at least one act of humble service for another person each day. It might be something as simple as picking up the stray paper towel from the floor of a
public restroom…nothing makes you feel greater than to humble yourself before your Father. Feel free to post a comment; we’d all love to hear about your homework!
Blessings on your day!
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