Archive for the ‘servanthood’ Category

Communication and Interaction: Tips for What you May Notice When You’re Over 40   Leave a comment

Anyone who’s under 40 should definitely read this. Maybe even under 35.

I have a few observations that might be helpful to you as you get older.

The rules change as you get older, and although it might not have done me any good, I wish someone told me these things.  Here’s what I have noticed.

1.  In any group social setting, assume that, if you are older than the people around you, they expect you to initiate the conversation. This applies whether you have never met them or whether you already know them.  So it wouldn’t hurt to stop worrying about whether anyone is noticing you, and notice them by saying hello, smiling, or whatever comes to mind.

2.  People will also assume that, because you are older, you are wiser.  You know things they don’t know. This is, I suppose, true.  A practical application is that they think you already know things, already have friends, already made it through that problem or situation, and they won’t realize you may be just as lost as they are, just as in need of friendship as they are, just as in need of wisdom for the next life event as they are. They will most likely look up to you for what you have accomplished and assume that it was some special knowledge that got you there.

3.  Be OK with the fact that you will not be noticed for your accomplishments, your looks (because you probably don’t have those any more), your hipness (because you aren’t) or your cuteness.  And if like me you have been a big pea in a small pod most of your life, realize that will change.  All you’re experiencing is what other people live every day.  You don’t need other people to ask you how you are, what you think, or what is new in your life, as much as it may feel that you need that.  God will provide exactly what you need, and his attention and regard is yours, all the time.  You have the opportunity to really get to know the people around you, by initiating contact with them and listening to how they are doing and where they are in their lives.  You have something they don’t: experience.  Let them benefit from it.

Acceptance of your new role and position is a hard change, but it’s your best option.  I have wasted too much time analyzing what is different now, what am I doing to put people off, why are people here less friendly than everywhere else I have ever lived, and all of those questions have not really gotten me anywhere.  What I want is to go with what is, and be content.

I hope that for you forewarned will be forearmed.  Just go with it.  It will be different, but different is not necessarily bad.  (Yes, I know it’s scary, but repeat with me while I keep repeating to myself: different is not necessarily bad.)  Hard, yes.  Different, yes.  New, yes. Feels odd, yes.  All that is true.  But I am confident that there is a divine purpose to go along with the new reality.

And hey, being perceived as an expert is part of your new reality.  And I  like that.

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Posted March 2, 2014 by swanatbagend in servanthood, transitions

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An Unexpected Conclusion   Leave a comment

The sermon today was on Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.  You could easily see that this could be a sermon on humility and servanthood since those things are in the text.  We were reminded that Jesus’ behavior was completely socially bizarre and that the feet in that day and age would have been completely disgusting.

The rest of what our pastor shared today was not what I expected.

First, our usual motives for serving are guilt, approval and recognition.  Then when we don’t get enough of that (because we never do) we get bitter and tired of serving.

So what is the motive here, what is Jesus doing?  He washes the feet to act out a parable of what he is preparing to do for everyone on the cross.  Jesus does something completely unexpected, interrupting the disciples bickering about who’s the greatest.  He takes off his shirt, pours the water, and starts cleaning their feet.

Not like this is the only time Jesus has served.  He does it every day.  Amazing how someone who is Master and Lord serves, all the time, a balance of power and its use that I can’t fathom.

So…what I heard is that in the church we tend to get the message of it’s about you, how are you serving, how are you supposed to serve?  But I need to shift back to reality and see that first I must allow Jesus to serve me, before I have the power/motivation/desire/will to serve others.  This is what he does for me.  So why do I forget and go barging off into oblivion without being served first?  And then get aggravated because I’ve over committed or am not getting the feedback I wanted?

Yes, we are servants, but who is the source?

I want to remember.

I also loved what Lisle said earlier, that humility is not how you think of yourself, but how you relate to those around you and how you treat them.

Good stuff, you could never be humble.  Anyone who works to be humble is probably thinking often of how well she is doing being  humble, whoops!

So when it was time for the application and conclusion this is what I don’t remember ever hearing before to conclude a sermon about serving:

“You are doing enough.”

Four little words.

Could this be possible?

“Be who you are, where you are.”

We are led to do what God wants us to do, starting this day, where we are.  We don’t have to scratch around to do “enough” to show our gratitude.  Not possible. Rather we have been given the power to do whatever we do because of what Jesus does for us.

Posted January 12, 2014 by swanatbagend in servanthood

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