….. I remember back in “dog-days” of June 1983 while enjoying one of the few “planned vacation” weeks of our family. I was sitting on the back deck of a beach house at Garden City, SC, absorbing all that the Atlantic Ocean had to offer. I asked my life-long friend Mickey B., if he could do anything in the world, what would it be? He said that he would like to be an accomplished singer. I said that I wanted to be able to “fly.” By flying, I meant to say, literally, fly like a bird. I could just sense the air whipping around my sleek body as I flew through the air…. Something that “no-one” else could do…. but ME.
But, Mickey’s desire to “sing,” didn’t impress me very much, at the time, as heck… anyone could sing… but who could fly? Mickey’s rationale for wanting to be a singer… a famous singer… was that it would allow him to use his status, and singing skills, to influence others to work hard so they might achieve their goals in life, as he had…. That, if he could sing, successfully, then it could be within the reach of anyone. Me? I just wanted to fly. Anybody could sing….
It wasn’t until several years later that I realized that the idea of flying was “for me,” not to the benefit the other guy. And singing, for Mickey, was for everybody else, but him. In other words, he had the heart of a SERVANT. He wanted to serve others, and I wanted to serve my own interests. Mickey had no idea that he was a “servant.” It came to him naturally. It’s taken me years and years to get to the point that he was at 30 years earlier. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s TRUE.
No… I’m not suggesting that I was someone who didn’t consider, or help, my fellow man. After all, God tells us to Love our neighbor as our self. And, I do…. I think. But, I was the kind of Christian that helped others out of “responsibility and duty,” rather than because of “giving until it hurts.” But Mickey…. He helped others and put them first because he was, not just naturally charitable, but because he made a conscious decision to help others, out of love for his fellow-man. On the other hand, I was a servant out of moral responsibility. There’s a difference. Mickey chose to humble himself…. before others. I humbled myself because that was what a good Christian was supposed to do…. I was compelled to do it, not always wanting to do it.
Jesus said, in Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” When we “give” to our fellow man out of LOVE, rather that out of “obligation,” God recognizes that humility as the “Gateway to Heaven. … I am working on being a better “servant,” because I KNOW that in helping others, I am LOVING God first, and putting others interests ahead of my own. Lord, help me to be an instrument of Your Peace and a conduit of Your Love. …Blessings… cjlb…11/6/14.