Large Work, small moves | Matthew 10:38-42
If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me. We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing. Matthew 10:38-42 | MSG
Once more, a quote from Foster: “Self-righteous service is impressed with the ‘big deal.’ It is concerned to make impressive gains on ecclesiastical scorecards. It enjoys serving, especially when the service is titanic. True service finds it impossible to distinguish the small from the large service. Where a difference is noted, the true servant is often drawn into the small service, not out of false modesty, but because he genuinely sees it as the more important task…True service comes from a relationship with the divine Other deep inside. We serve out of whispered promptings, divine urgings. Energy is expended, but it is not the frantic energy of the flesh. Thomas Kelly writes, ‘I find He never guides us into an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness.’” Back to the Great Commission and Limited Commission. Perhaps the key here is recognizing and embracing our own personal limited commission (our task) within the grander, overall Great Commission (His task). Big Hairy Audacious Goals can foster frantic activity and obsession with Big Splashes over Big Ideas and Big Impacts. But perhaps the greatest BHAG of all is to find the freedom and flow reflected in Jesus’ instructions to these twelve their first time out. I don’t hear frenzy or a “scramble of panting feverishness” in Jesus’ tone and tenor. Urgency and passion, yes. Frenzy, no. Frenzied people don’t have time to give cups of cold water to little ones. Servants of Christ do. Go, and do likewise.
How can we keep service from becoming toxic for us and those we serve? What would you say is the key to our service for others not degenerating into an “intolerable scramble of panting feverishness”?
Lord Jesus, as it would please you, bring me someone today whom I can serve.
One practice. Each day. Hopefully in multiple, unanticipated, creative ways. Don’t just choose to serve today. Be a servant today with all of the inconvenience, all the lack of recognition, all the potential humiliation that entails. Let your pride and agendas go. Be. That. Servant.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.