It has been a while since I visited the world of blogging, I have missed this world of blogging, I must visit it more often. Anywho, this year seems to be running, how else can you explain that we are about to see the first quarter of the year come to an end! Seeing that I cannot stop time from racing past me, I have decided to take stock of the things I feel this year is about.
At the end of last year, I went on a personal retreat that was entrenched into my mind. I encountered God in a way that I needed to. As the retreat ended, God gave me a very specific instruction, ‘Go serve others’. It was not exactly what I thought this year would be about, I had not imagined that this would be a year of service, so I was taken aback a bit.
A few weeks later, I listened to a sermon by TD Jakes that I have chosen to listen to several times after. It is one of those sermons that one dose just is not enough of.
This extract from the sermon has tagged at my heart weeks later, ‘You know that you have started to think like God when you start to think selflessly. If you have not developed selfless thinking, the water (The Word of God) is not reaching you, something is blocking it. Selflessness is only produced when we become God conscious and not self-conscious. You cannot live a purposeful life when you are selfish. If you process stuff from a ‘what is in it for me‘ perspective, instead of asking what can I give, if it’s about what you can take; if you manipulate everything in your reach to serve you rather than recognize you are a gift and seek to serve, then you are not selfless.;
As I thought about those words, this famous verse came into my heart, ‘For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only Begotten Son.’ God’s love for us leads Him to give us His only Begotten Son, His love is that selfless. As I read these verses I begun to ask myself when was the last time I gave selflessly, expecting nothing in return, just choosing to give. The answer to that question has shocked me, my world of service and giving seems to have dwindled with the birth of Lapid Leaders.
Don’t get me wrong, the core and the heart of Lapid Leaders is giving, we even have community service entrenched in the program. However, as I have led this organization into the greatness that I believe God has in stock for it, I have gotten caught up in the ‘what is in it for me’ mentality. I cannot remember the last time I engaged in an activity without thinking about how it will turn back.
I realized that I was very fast becoming a self-centered and selfish individual. I realized this is a common pitfall for people who are involved in organizations whose core is service. Somehow in the process of feeding our organizations, we stop doing the things that do not have anything in it for us. I realized it is easier to become selfish while serving in an organization like mine or even in a church. We engage in service yes, but an honest review of our service will reveal that each of it revolves us getting something in return, be it brand exposure, be it finances, be it publicity.
We become very inward looking individuals and organizations. So I begun to audit my actions, why do I no longer as freely as I once did? What changed?
As I undertook this self-audit, I came to the realization that my biggest hindrance is ‘fear of being used’. Before I engaged with Lapid Leaders, I was involved in several community service / give-back activities. This was a central part of who I am, and I loved it. However, when LLA started, I did not receive overwhelming support from some of the organizations that I had been involved in. I began to feel used, like all I did was wasted, wrong attitude I know but it was what I felt then (I wrote this blog when I was going through this season).
In the process I developed a fear of being misused! I would do anything to protect myself from ever being used again. My service would be in my own terms and for my benefit. Do you guys ever feel like that?
I have come to realise that this is the most common reason why many people do no serve or engage in any giving. We all fear being used. We all have had an experience where we have been used and we have said never again. Sometimes this fear creeps in as mine did, without knowing. We become very clutch-fisted. We will not be found giving, what have our big names used, what and have our great organizations used. In the process we become selfish people
A year of service
So I have made a decision, I will not allow any form of fear to hold me back from living out these value of service. In the last LLA class we explored how fear drives many of us away from living a values-driven life. What if I lose my job? I best cooperate and become a corrupt Procurement Officer. What if I lose that tender, I best pay a bribe to secure it.
As we had this discussion, I hardly noticed the hold fear had on this value of giving.
I see it now. So I have made a decision, I will return to my days of giving. I will look for opportunities to serve without expecting anything in return. I will look for ways to return my heart back to this value that I believe honors God. So yes Lord, I will serve, I agree. Forgive me for being so self-centered, forgive me for leading a selfish life when you have been so faithful. Lead me to greater heights of serving you by serving those around me. Lead me Lord.
I cannot wait to see this season of service unfold, how faithful God is that before I could miss this, He opens my eyes to where He wants me to be!