Friday, February 17, 2006

The Question That Changed My Life

There are times in my life where epiphanies happen in casual situations. When someone says something rather mundane, yet is profound, is an example of those casual epiphany moments.

I am remembering a time when my mom asked a question that has set a new course for my life, my ministry, and what I believe about service in the Kingdom of God. It came at a time when I was heavily involved with service projects at church. I decided to get involved in different ministries, because I really wanted to serve God, show Him my love, and make a difference in this world. So, I became very busy. I was involved in bible study leaders training, leadership training, evangelism efforts, church ushering duties, and community service; along with Sunday morning worship meetings, Sunday night worship meetings, Wednesday night worship meetings, mid-week Bible study groups, and Friday devotional group meetings. (Whew!)

That Day

I remember that day. The day when I changed my mind about ministry and service.

I was involved in a community service ministry that involved visiting the elderly in nursing homes. It was tiring, but I felt I was doing something important. Then came a time when I had the time to visit my folks. My mom asked what I was up to. I tried to explain, but it was so complicated. I went into all the important work I was involved in, like the elderly visitations. After all my talking, my mom asked a simple question: "That's all good. But what about visiting your own grandmother? Isn't that good?"

"Well. Why yes." I thought. But all I could say is, "I guess so." But it got me thinking on many levels. What if God is more pleased that I visit my grandmother and family than visiting strangers? What if God wants my love to be sincere, more than demonstrating love in action? Yes, it is good to practice, but maybe I've got the reasons all wrong. Maybe God wants sincere love above trying hard.

That day changed the way I see service. Even today, I judge my service against the goal of sincerity and a sober self-esteem, rather than activity level or measured impacts. I am more keen about looking for fruit that comes from godly living, than the fruit of man (position, power, and influence). And serving God is really not a burden. When it becomes a burden, I always ask myself what I am believing. Because that is where sincere service and evil desires stem from — what I believe.

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