I Love Serving People
I love serving people. Seriously, the pure joy, happiness and even excitement I get out of serving people is “my Disneyland”! It’s a physical feeling of love, and I LOVE feeling it! Have I always felt this way about serving people? Well, kind of but as I grow in Christ my interpretation of why I have always felt this way has become clearer. Back in 1993 I started my career in the fire service. I have always gravitated to the busiest firehouses and trust me, in Oakland there are some busy firehouses! I couldn’t stand being assigned to the slower firehouses which were located in the Oakland hills. Don’t get me wrong, the citizens in the hills deserved the same level of service as those who lived in what we called “the flat lands” but like I said, those firehouses were too slow for me.
When the bell would hit off, we never knew what to expect, but what we did know is that someone needed us. When people needed our help, we would just show up regardless of what we were doing at the time. We never said, “No, we can’t handle that”, no matter how hard it got. If we became overwhelmed, we would just call for more Firemen to come help us, but in no way shape or form would we quit until the job was done! Each job we responded to was different. We could go from cutting an entangled person out of a mangled vehicle with the Jaws of Life to a multi-alarm fire with victims trapped to doing CPR on an infant, etc. within a 24 hour shift. We were trained to handle all of the “what if’s” that society could throw our way and like I said, I loved it!
So then, how has my interpretation of the love I feel for serving others changed? During the first ten years of my career, I was not a Christian. When I helped someone, I did it because it felt good. Helping people would fill the void and pain within my heart, but eventually that pain would come back. I would pick up extra shifts, go on some cool vacations, hang out with my buddies, go on dates, buy cool toys, but none of that stuff worked. It was like a black hole had opened up inside of me and it was impossible to fill. It was constantly growing and eating up everything I threw at it. I was completely separated from the emotional feeling of love, and trust me my friends, it hurt. The Bible is very clear that if we become separated from God that we will feel pain. I chose to be separated from God for 28 years and as a result of it, I suffered from both the physical and emotional pain of a loveless life. Pastor Scott and Pastor Chris have made the wise decision to limit me to 500 words because I could go on and on about where I was at that point of my life.
When I finally softened my brain which had been hardened by this world and accepted God’s gift of salvation through his Son, my savior, Jesus Christ I began to feel love again. I am not here to figure God out, but I am here to praise him, thank him and give him all glory for the love he has offered me from the beginning. I know for a fact that he was chasing me long ago, but out of pure stupidity on my part, I never recognized it. The love that I have for God is as real as it gets. It’s an emotional love that now drives my actions. It makes me want to dance, sing and worship him. It makes me want to serve him. It makes me want to obey him. It makes me want to serve those around me.
My relationship with God through Christ has filled the void inside of me. Serving the God I love out of love has changed me. I have witnessed firsthand the miracles that Scripture says he is capable of which includes un-breaking the broken, healing the sick and taking away the pain of life’s injuries. Yes, he fixed me. When I serve people, I am now doing it out of love for my Father and it feels AWESOME! I used to selfishly serve people because it made me feel good. Today I want to selflessly serve people because of the love I feel for the one who first loved me. I used to serve because it made me feel good. That way of thinking was wrong. I now serve people because my love for God drives me to.
Lastly, I am getting excited, geared up and ready for the men's retreat! I am not going to go into detail about the topics that I am going to cover because I don't want to spoil it for you but trust me, they will be from my heart. I have been asked to write two more posts over the next month and once you read them, you will have a good idea about what's on my heart and what you can expect to hear. I can't wait to hang out with you guys and learn more about each and every one of you!
I love you guys,