PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

Soliloquy on servanthood


So you are to serve the Lord. What if your heart is not in it? What if you were assigned to a service you never expected to be in?

I strongly advise you to obey. Because "obedience is better (or more pleasing to God) than sacrifice." Remember that it's God's work you're doing, it's God whom you are trying to please, not men. You do not serve in order to please yourself or profit from it, although there's nothing wrong if you end up liking what you're doing, - and earning, too. (But if you're earning from it, then it would cease being purely a service, but a career as well. A career in the Lord is a full-time affair; are you ready for it?)

So you feel inadequate, under-equipped for the service. What did the Lord tell you about your incredulity? "I do not call the qualified, I qualify those whom I call." Were any of my twelve apostles qualified? One betraying me, another denying me three times; one a publican, the others fishermen.

You're desperate to flee from the awesome responsibility so you raise the issue of age. But you can't say you're too young either because God will surely quote from Paul's Letter to Timothy. So you resort to "I'm too old for this."

Really? Then you've made a terrible blunder in logic. You're all the more qualified for it if you're looking for a legal qualification! Because you supposedly have already gained so much wisdom, ripe enough for the picking, delicious enough to be shared and served.

Come on, accept the service. Give everything to the Lord. After all, it's His idea. He'll be walking with you. You won't be alone.

He will prove this to you in ways you do not expect. Trust the Lord to do it His way. To remind you that it is not your work but His. To remind you that you're just an instrument, just a lowly worker in His vastvineyard. To make sure that no one may boast, and if anyone should boast, he or she could only boast in the Lord.

Your seeming success later on would surely make you feel accomplished but "do not trust the good feeling". It's not you.

And when you're done with the job, do not expect to be congratulated. Praise and thank the Lord yourself. Present to Him the fact that your mission has been accomplished and that you have only done what needs to be done, that you are just an unworthy and inadequate servant. (Remember? You're not qualified.) The Lord's work is so gargantuan, your contribution is but a drop in the bucket, or the ocean, so keep your feet on the ground. All honor and glory belongs to God.

Say yes even when you're under the cloud of doubt and hesitation. If you say no now, the Lord might not come back to you again and you'll regret it for the rest of eternity. Or that He might get back to you later without letup. Do not prolong your agony. Just do it. And hope for the best.

Trust in His wisdom. Never ask "why?" or "why me?" He knows why and you don't, so trust him instead of listening to your fear. Work. Work hard. Pray. Pray for His provisions, for your health, for His direction, and most importantly, for a generous heart: "Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as I should: to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do Your will." (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

4.24.2001


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