The Gift Of Service

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, when you are baptised you make a few promises, I've explained about them before in a talk that I gave at Dan Jon Jr's baptism, but basically you promise to take upon you the name of Christ, you promise to be an example of Christ and you promise to help others, just like Christ did. This third promise, when we help others out, we call it Service and it's this third promise that I wanted to talk a bit about today, but first a sort of story.

Dan Jon Jr, Top Ender and PippaD looking cute!

A couple of weeks ago, Flyfour and I were walking past the grave of Flyfour's maternal grandparents and we noticed that a bush that had been planted atop of the grave was growing a little unruly and it probably needed trimming back a bit. I offered to do it in the upcoming week, as being a stay at home Mum I have more time than Flyfour to do things like this.

On the day I had assigned myself to do this task, Dan Jon Jr asked me what I was up to as I walked him to school. I told him the few things that I was doing including a few chores for him such as collecting a gift he has purchased for his teacher who was leaving and sorting out a few things for his sister and going to trim the bush on his Great Grandparents grave and Dan Jon commented "oh, so a day of service then!".

At this point, I hadn't thought of it as service.

I had thought of it as being a decent human being doing a few chores for the benefit of her family. The more I thought on it though, those small things that we do when we're just being a normal human being? Doing things to make other peoples lives easier or better, they are all service.

The overgrown Bush on the Grave

Things like taking people without a car to Church, or helping an elderly friend go to the Supermarket, or being a Governor at a School, texting a friend who is feeling low, sending letters, helping out at a children's group, or reading with children at School or teaching other people skills, or babysitting, or basically anything that means you are donating your time and effort to others.

Simple everyday acts of kindness.

And yet, it's these acts of service that we do for others that give us our greatest gifts.

Top Ender volunteers at a Brownies Group and absolutely loves helping out. It has given her confidence and a sense of community beyond her family, Church and School. It has given her purpose and helps her to think of others and I think that is really needed when you're a teenager!

I volunteer at two schools as a Governor and I volunteer at a School to help children with their reading skills twice a week too. I have the same sense of community that Top Ender has, I also feel that I have some kind of worth that I sometimes feel that I don't have being a stay at home Mum with no children at home.

Top Ender walking my Sisters Dog - an act of service

And it is a gift, it's a gift we give to others because of us giving of our time and effort. These little things that we do, we take a burden off their mind or we help them know that they are loved and cared for, that someone is there for them when they need help.

It's a gift that we give to ourselves because we take time out to realise that we aren't the centre of the universe. It's a gift because we develop skills and compassion and become better people.

These little things that we do fill a little Spiritual well that we have inside of us and keep us balanced and remembering that this world isn't all doom and gloom. It helps us to focus on what is important (each other) and I think makes the world a bit of a nicer place.