I recently read a book on Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-Fil-A. I expected it to be a boring read to be honest with you, but I couldn't put the book down! And the message that I took away from the book - besides what an amazing man he is - is that we always have to be on the look-out and ready for "unexpected opportunities." Truett Cathy is a brilliant businessman to be sure, but I think we have even more to learn from him as someone who seeks out to considerably help others, and change their lives, every day. He has fostered hundreds of children, as an example. Associate pastor Randy Peterson spoke on this topic of opening yourself to opportunities also, in his message at church this past Sunday- so I "got the message" and have been really reflecting on that. Basically, an unexpected opportunity is when you are not looking at that time, to find yourself in a position to help someone, but something happens and you are able to.
Too often, I busy myself with to-do list stuff that doesn't open myself up to interaction with people. If I have a day where I'm not working at the church or babysitting - which is currently 2 days a week - I am a hermit. I do my couponing, cleaning, cooking, etc...and yes, I consider that serving my family, or "helping" someone. But it is too comfortable, too mundane...and not giving God the chance to use me for others. There are seasons - first coming to mind, the season of having babies and toddlers - where most of your time will be spent serving your family, with little time to serve elsewhere. Sometimes we are in a season where we need to focus on becoming healthy, and we are unable to give much of ourselves. I have been through seasons like that, but for the last few years, I am in a season with time to give, and I have. But God has been pressing on my heart that He has a change in store for me, and I don't know what that is yet. I tried to get a part-time job at a social work agency, and they hired a full-time staffer instead. I was disappointed at first, but then I realized that this may be God's handiwork in guiding me towards what He has in mind for me - and I guess that job wasn't it. For now, anyway.
I am excited about what's coming. I just feel like something is. Or maybe it's just more of what I have done already - like sending encouragement notes to people, or making meals. I do not do that nearly as often as I should...my goal should be weekly. I feel that I need to do more serving, more encouraging, more interacting with people. As I do so, I will be teaching my girls 2 crucial Biblical principles - giving and loving. There is nothing I want more for them, than for their hearts to be generous and full of God's love, spilling over into the lives of their friends and family. I want them to be healthy, happy, prosperous...of course, all of those things. But more than anything, I want them to know God, and live God. I want them to believe in Jesus, and live for him in all they do. How will they do that, if they don't see their mother living that way.
So tonight I am making a meal for a family. It's something that I know how to do, and an opportunity presented itself. On Saturday Kevin and I have our small group dinner, and we are going to be leading a study with other married couples on the book The Five Love Languages. But I am going to keep my eyes and ears open for more opportunities.
What are ways that you serve?