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Hard At Work

“Serving others remains one of the essentials to living a happy and fulfilled life.” - Charles Swindoll

"But the greatest among you

shall be your servant.”

Matthew 23:11

Nothing is as classy to me as people who humbly serve others. They don’t cry out for recognition or make pleading appeals to be noticed and often serve from obscurity and out of the spotlights. While they may not know it they are a great source of motivation and delight to this preacher’s heart that I remember with gratitude in my prayers.

They help to offset the deficit of living in a world has become the low achievement of isolated pursuits and a shared silence-syndrome. By and large neighbors almost seem to prefer alienation and solitude within their one acre dominions. Their schedules are crowded, their Amazon shopping cart full - but they are lonely and distant. Sometimes even bringing Christians together in fellowship can feel like trying to push together the opposing ends of magnets.

How odd this world feels to those like me who grew up sitting on their front porches and talking long after the street lights came on. The sounds of conversation and squeaking porch swings have been silenced by the muffled taps of thumbs on electronic devices. Sharing and caring huddle together under a looming ice age of narcissism. Then I see rising to see the challenge simple, humble believers who pray, intentionally pursue opportunities, and seek lives of serving others in need … and we are all in need.

I found a story recently beneficial that I’d like to pass on to you. Shortly after Booker T. Washington became head of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking past the house of a wealthy family. The woman of the house, assuming Washington was one of-the yard workers her husband had hired, asked him if he would chop some wood for her. Professor Washington smiled, nodded, took off his coat, and chopped the wood. When he carried the armload of wood into the woman's kitchen, a servant girl recognized him and rushed to her mistress to tell her of his identity.

The next morning, the woman appeared in Washington's office. Apologizing profusely, she said repeatedly, "I did not know it was you I put to work.” Washington replied with generosity, "It's entirely all right, madam. I like to work and I'm delighted to do favors for my friends."

The woman was so taken with his manner and his willingness to forgive that she gave generous gifts to the institute, and persuaded many of her wealthy acquaintances to do likewise. In the end, Washington raised as much money for the institute from this one act of chopping wood as he did from any other fund-raising event!

A great believer is never beyond hard work. The willingness to serve others is the essence of greatness. After all our Great Lord and King came from Heaven to seek and save the lost - and we can do no less.

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