We are all connected. I choose to do serve those around me in need.

I Choose to Serve

We are all connected.  I choose to do serve those around me in need.

In continuing with the theme of gratitude and Thanksgiving, I choose to open my eyes to ways to serve my community. I support many causes financially and some physically, but I want to do more.

I recently heard Mr. Tim Tebow speak at a benefit for Great Lakes Adult & Teen Challenge, a nonprofit, highly effective residential addiction treatment center option for adult men and women struggling with addictions that shows residents the way toward a more fulfilling life based on God’s forgiveness, love, and purpose. I was honored to hear the men and women share their stories of hitting rock bottom and through faith restoring their lives.  It was a privilege to contribute to funding their mission. As I know many people who have struggled through addiction and others who have lost loved ones to addiction this is an important topic for me.  The work that Adult & Teen Challenge (a global organization) does is important for the communities they serve changes the lives of so many men and women for the better.

One of my takeaways from Mr. Tebow’s speech was “being called” to be on “rescue team”. He defined “being called” as an urgent and divine invitation to accept responsibility for a particular task.  A calling, a strong inner impulse, conviction, or vocation to pursue a particular career, purpose, or way of life, often implies a sense of destiny or a deep personal motivation.  He talked about his calling and mission to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.  These include the orphaned, the trafficked, and those with special needs and profound medical conditions.   He challenged the attendees to really recognize the needs of people around you and to not look the other way.  He talked about having a greater purpose and joining forces with others to be on the “rescue team” for those that can’t find their way out or don’t have the means to.

Benefits of Serving Others

As we embrace the spirit of gratitude and Thanksgiving, it’s natural to reflect on the blessings in our lives and seek ways to give back to our communities. While supporting causes financially is commendable, I feel called to do more and make a greater impact. Here are a few of the benefits of serving your community.

  1. Fostering a Sense of Purpose and Fulfillment: Serving your community offers a sense of purpose and fulfillment. When you dedicate your time, skills, and resources to helping others, you can experience a deep sense of satisfaction and meaning. It provides an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most, creating a ripple effect of positivity and empowerment.
  2. Building Stronger Connections and Relationships: Engaging in acts of service allows you to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds and forge meaningful relationships. By working alongside others towards a common goal, you can develop a sense of camaraderie and unity. These connections not only enrich your own life but also contribute to the social fabric of your community, fostering a sense of belonging and support.
  3. Developing Empathy and Compassion: Service cultivates empathy and compassion, enabling you to see the world through the eyes of others. By immersing yourself in the experiences and challenges of those you serve, you can gain a deeper understanding of their struggles and triumphs. This heightened empathy fosters a more compassionate outlook, influencing how you interact with others and inspiring acts of kindness in your daily life.
  4. Strengthening Personal Growth and Skills: Engaging in community service provides opportunities for personal growth and skill development. As you step outside your comfort zone and take on new challenges, you acquire valuable skills such as leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork. These experiences broaden your perspective, enhance your resilience, and equip you with a diverse set of abilities that can benefit both your personal and professional life.

Simple Acts of Service

Here are a few ways to get involved in your community.

  1. Volunteering at a Local Shelter: Offer your time and assistance at a homeless shelter or food bank. Serve meals, organize donations, or provide companionship to those in need.
  2. Mentoring and Tutoring: Share your knowledge and expertise by mentoring or tutoring students in your community. Help them develop their skills, boost their confidence, and unlock their potential.
  3. Environmental Stewardship: Participate in community clean-up initiatives or join local conservation efforts. Plant trees, pick of litter, organize recycling drives, or educate others about sustainable practices.
  4. Supporting Elderly or Disabled Individuals: Offer companionship and assistance to elderly or disabled individuals in your community. Help with household chores, run errands, or simply spend time engaging in meaningful conversations.
  5. Organizing Fundraisers: Plan and execute fundraisers to support local charities or organizations. Host events, coordinate donation drives, or utilize your creative talents to raise funds for a cause you are passionate about.
  6. Providing Pro Bono Services: If you have professional skills, consider offering your services pro bono to individuals or organizations that may not have access to them. This could include legal advice, graphic design, or marketing assistance.

Remember, acts of service can be tailored to your unique skills, interests, and the needs of your community. The key is to approach service with an open heart and a willingness to make a positive impact. By embracing the joy of giving back, you not only uplift others but also experience personal growth, forge meaningful connections, and contribute to the betterment of your community. Together, let us inspire a culture of service and create a world where acts of kindness and compassion are celebrated and cherished.

Your Turn:  Choose to Serve

Here are a couple of journal prompts to explore the theme of service.

Become Aware

Become aware of how you use and could benefit from serving others.

  • Consider specific actions, behaviors, or attitudes that align with your understanding of and calling for service.
    • What does being part of a community mean to you? What do you consider your “calling” to be in your community?
    • What does serving others mean to you? How do you serve those around you?
    • What are the needs and challenges in your community? How can you contribute to addressing these issues?
  • Notice any observations (gaps, triggers, patterns, and situations) around serving others.  What is the impact?
  • Acknowledge your (insert observation) and it is (insert impact)

I am aware ______________________ and it is _________________________.

Be Grateful

Be grateful for becoming aware of times when you choose not to serve.  Now you can use them to remind you to lead with serving others.

  • Identify one observation you want to become aware of and use as a reminder to serve.
  • What is the mindset you want to have once you become aware.
  • Change your perspective, be grateful for (insert observation), because it reminds you to (insert mindset).

I am grateful ________________________ and because now I can __________________________.

Take Action

Identify specific actions or steps you can take to serve next time.

  • Name an action you will take next time you become aware.

Next time I become aware I will _______________________________________________.

Jen Weis

The publisher of Morning Cup.