Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A Place of Service

Sometimes I forget my place in my life.

I am a supporter, a believer in others, a servant.  My job, my task, is to lift others up - to help them see in themselves what they cannot see.  Often it is buried in the muck of a life where circumstances or others have buried them or not treated them well.  My goal is to clean up those dreams and skills and aspirations, recall them to what is possible, and help them to believe and then move forward.

It is a task.  It is something that I enjoy doing.  But sometimes I forget my place in life.

When this happens, I get myself too involved in the life of others (Trust me, I have done this).  I have made their happiness and their success as much about me as it is about them.  Rather than just being a supporter and second violin in the orchestra, I try to make myself a lead character and first violin.

This never goes well, of course.  The point of believing in people and lifting them up is that they will take wing and fly to new heights - not that their stories somehow entwine with mine.

The end is actually always the same, of course - they find their way up and onward (that is what I am trying to help with, of course) and I find myself feeling left behind and isolated.  No reason to feel that way of course - what I thought and what was actually going on were two very different things indeed.  Yet I always somehow am surprised at the end even though it is the same every time.

It is not that I regret what I do.  It a necessary thing, not only for those who need encouraging but for me - I need to do it.  The problem is the unrealistic baggage I bring along with it.

To serve - to truly serve - is to remember that the very best of service is the one that exists as a memory in the back of the served's mind, the sense that they really did do it without the recollection of any expectations or demands that were placed on them by the ones serving.

4 comments:

PeteForester1 said...

In professional bicycle racing, every team has a leader. The rest of the team are known as "domestiques." Their job is not to win; it's to do whatever it takes for the TEAM LEADER to win. In the end though, it's not the leader who wins; it's the TEAM.

And then there are the Oakridge Boys:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGpJ2ruLChI

It's in the Bible everywhere. Take courage, friend...

Rev. Paul said...

Learning to give selflessly is a process, for most of us. A few have a divine gift, I believe, but the rest of us sometimes struggle with what you've described. We must keep reminding ourselves why we do it ... and then keep on doing it. :)

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Pete. It is a very apt analogy. I forget it is less about me and more about others.

And love the Oakridge Boys. We listened to a lot of them on road trips growing up.

Thanks for stopping by! - TB

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you Reverend Paul. It is comforting to hear others struggle with it too. Perspective helps.

Thanks for stopping by! - TB