Identity

Stopping and Serving

This week has not been a good one. My emotions are spiraling out of proportion, and I was angry when the week began, which slowly turned into stress. My stomach was also upset this week and so when I got really stressed it ended up hurting for almost two days, and I still have a minor ache as I’m recovering. I’ve been processing part of my trauma, as I said in my last post, and it’s hard to not walk around with this nagging feeling in the back of my brain. Today, I am exhausted, and to be honest, I am totally worn out. I didn’t do much of anything, so it’s just emotional turmoil.

I am a lazy person. I’ll just tell you that right now. You are going to think I am the laziest being in the planet. I was lying in bed most of the day, catching up on rest, and just relaxing. Then I know what I need to do as Sweetpea, my dog, is running around like a lunatic bursting with energy. I know I need to take them out, and yet I feel like I can barely walk as I pull myself up.

Two little people start to get exited as I slip on some sandals and grab their leashes. I get irritated as they jump and wiggle themselves beyond belief. They are too fast for me to get their leashes on. So, impatiently, I grab one of them and force them still. The other one just sits, but I can feel the anxious tick inside of her.

When we go outside I can barely see straight, everything’s a little bit blurry. My eyes are like weights. One spots another dog later on, and I drag her up to the corner until she can’t see them anymore, feeling guilty at my yanking and impatience. Then, as usual, one jumps on top of a brick structure right on the path to our building. I realize my choice.

I can either drag them down and go upstairs back to bed or I can sit down there with her.

Even though my body says to go with option one, my heart knows the right answer. I sit down, reminded of something Jennie Allen said last night when I was watching her study video for her book Restless. She talked about serving in the mundane and how “He will somehow take target runs and diaper changes and turn them into our time with Him.” So there I sit, tired and glad to sit down, admiring nature and all my pup’s had to put up with. I wonder (metaphorically) how many of us choose to drag ourselves and our pets back upstairs and go to sleep instead of taking a moment to stop and serve and actually take the time to care for God’s creations.

Life is too rushed these days. I feel like there are a lot of us who are just so burnt out and tired and frustrated that we don’t have the energy to stop and be kind or patient. I admit that I do this a lot. I don’t stop to spend time with God or be kind to a stranger or pray for that person who I know needs it, because I feel too tied up in my own mess to do that. I mean, I do occasionally. But not as much as I need to. Serving looks mundane sometimes, and I think it looks mundane pretty much all the time.

I watched an excerpt from the She Speaks Conference this morning. If you haven’t already watched it, it is amazing. It’s on a new devotional app called First 5 if you want to check it out. But, anyway, Lysa Terkeurst was talking about serving in the mundane. She was also talking about remembering God in all that we do. I think so many of us forget that.

We forget His faithfulness. We forget His patience. We forget His strength. I’m guilty of doing this so many times every day. I have a problem with anxiety and I am more likely to go to catastrophizing than I am to go to Jesus. It’s true. I know where I should go, I’m just learning how to live always going there.

But I think when we stop, when we stop for that homeless man or that cashier who’s just been yelled at by an impatient customer or that person breaking down in the booth right next to us, one person at a time, we start to remember Jesus and remember that He’s got us just as much as He’s got them. So, I hope we’ll do that more often. I hope that we will remember to stop, remember to serve even if it isn’t that big and there isn’t a boat full of people waiting to applaud us or say we did great, and remember to always keep Him first in our minds.

I have learned that I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, change the world for one person. So I keep stopping and loving one person at a time. Because that is my call as a Christian.

-Katie Davis

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