If you were asked to give service for a long period of time would you? It is easy to serve someone for a day or a week, but how about a month or a year? How about 7 years? I'm afraid I have been in the "this is too hard" or the "I don't have time" category of thinking. I want to change - right now! I have discovered in my own self that I am a very selfish type of person that is very reserved when it comes to helping others. I try to be kind and serve when I can, but if that service has been asked for long term I start to think that service has now become a burden to me. In this way of thinking I am wrong. I have been given many examples of how my attitude needs to change and how my service is a blessing to others.
One of the best blessings I received was when I was asked to serve my grandparents. Several years ago when both my mother's parents were alive, I was asked to make and deliver dinner to them each Thursday night. I was really "put-out" with this request because I felt that my youngest sister, who was living there, could just take care of it. After all, that is what she was there to do - take care of the grandparents. Needless to say, my attitude stunk!
One Thursday night my attitude changed. I had brought in the usual meal. Served it on plates to take into my grandparents. (They always ate meals in their chairs in the living room in front of the TV.) As usual, my grandmother asked me to re-heat her dinner cuz it wasn't hot enough, so I did. As I delivered their meals to their trays, my grandfather muted the TV and asked my grandmother to say the blessing on the food.
My hardened heart cracked with that simple blessing on the food. My grandmother not only asked a blessing on the food, but she humbly expressed her gratitude for me and the sacrifice that I was making to bring them dinner. She then expressed her love for me to Heavenly Father and asked that He bless my family. Right then I knew that I would never see bringing dinner to my grandparents as a burden ever again. It was a gift of love that I would willingly share with them for as long as the Lord allowed me to serve them.
After my grandfather passed on, my grandmother had an extended stay in an assisted living home. I made it a point to visit with her every Monday afternoon. I took my young son with me, and sometimes my oldest daughter would come as well. We had amazing visits together. We would even bring her treats at times. There would be times when we would enter her room and she would be on the phone with someone and she would look at us, smile and then tell whoever was on the other line "I got to go. My boyfriend is here." Then she would give my son the biggest hug a great-grandmother could give.
I didn't realize how much my grandmother treasured these visits until I received a "tongue lashing" from her. You see, I was expecting my third child and had become somewhat ill. It made it difficult to visit my grandmother for a few weeks in a row. When I finally felt well enough to resume my visits, I came into the center to find her playing BINGO with the other residents. Her response was to look over her shoulder at me, give me the "death glare" at say "Well, it's about time!" I vowed never to miss my weekly visits with her again.
Now that she is no longer with us, these are some of the most treasured memories that I keep close to my heart. I feel more blessed than I can ever comprehend because I took the time from my busy day to serve her. It may not seem like much, but it made the world of difference in her life, and I have realized that it made a difference in my life as well.
I know that when we give service to others we not only bless their lives, but our lives are equally blessed. When we give willingly of ourselves the Lord will make sure that our needs are met. If there are hurts in our lives they will be healed. If we are depressed, we will have greater hope because we will be able to focus on someone to help make a difference in their world.
I watched a video that really touched my heart. It tells of a group of men who gave of their time and service for over seven years to a woman who was disabled. Please take the time to watch the video. Go ahead, I'll wait………(click on picture below to see the video. Be sure to have tissues ready....)
I challenge each of you, myself included, to get out and find someone to serve today. It can be in the tiny little things that you do - remember that service doesn’t have to be big. Just serve with a smile and a willing heart. Those that you serve may not ever tell you "thank you", but they will always be grateful for how you touched their lives for good.