The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To Honor and Serve

Some of you know that Karen (my wife) is in China right now. After flying out of Dallas they headed for New Jersey for a layover. During the flight Karen got up and her knee went out. She has been having difficulties with it everyday that she has been there. I couldn’t help but wonder what God was up to because I knew He was going to do something great and teach her some really cool stuff.

I learned this morning God was not only teaching her, but me as well. The Chinese students have been wonderful to her. They have been pushing her around in a wheel chair, helping her upstairs and more or less pampering her. I told her to sit back and enjoy it. God was showing her how much He loves and cares for her.

The story she told me this morning really touched my heart and convicted me as well. They went to see The Great Wall this morning and she was unable to climb the steps required to go to a certain area. So she just sat down and waited on everyone else. One of the female (Chinese) students stayed with her. Her name was Betty. (American name) Betty had never actually seen the Great Wall. She only lived a couple of hours away and has never seen it herself. Karen told her to go on, but she refused and said she was staying with her. Karen told her she didn’t want her to miss out, but Becky explained to her that it was an honor and a privilege to be with her. Wow!

How many times have we denied ourselves a possible a once in a lifetime experience to minister to the needs of another? If we did, then we probably would have resented it, got mad at God and the person we helped. They made us miss a very important engagement like going to the movies, late for a meal or missing a TV show. This is really preaching at me. The other side of the coin is if we did something selfless we became so proud of ourselves we made our arm sore from patting ourselves on the back.

Of course in everything there is balance. We can’t constantly miss engagements and appointments because we are ministering to the needs of others. This is the problem many pastors get into and they justify it be saying it’s their job and responsibility. So their family has to suffer because of their dedication. With some people it’s just the opposite. All their dedication is to their family and they have no time for anyone else. God’s way has always been balance. The most important thing is the heart and motives.

There are people in America that do such things as self-sacrifice, but only if there is a tip, paycheck or some kind of exchange involved. If we do acts of kindness with the expectation of getting something in return then it’s not an act of kindness.

So do we go out looking for someone to serve? No. We become aware of our surroundings and wait for God to show us who or what. So do we do it so God will bless us? No. We do it simply because it’s the right thing to do and not because it makes us feel good about ourselves. God may even bless someone else for our service. You see, I push elderly people around in their wheelchairs several days a week and maybe Karen is getting the blessing for this. I think that’s wonderful.

If we set out to do this within our own will power and flesh or selfishness God will not acknowledge our work. It has to come from the heart and no where else. As I talk to Karen everyday on Skype I learn more of the exciting events that God is doing through her. I can’t wait to see how this story ends. I guess you can call this Part 1.

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