1 Corinthians 10:31b - Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
In our town the predictable floods of spring came again. Only they came earlier because we had a lot of rain in place of snow. As usual the ball diamonds down by the river were hit hard. The flood waters left debris 15 feet high in some trees. The unstoppable surge deposited mud and junk in dugouts and piled it up against outfield fences. It was a mess.
The ball diamonds are where my son will play baseball this summer. So, when the parents of ball players were called upon to help put things back in shape, my wife and I went. We arrived early that Saturday morning. When we inquired what we should do, we were asked to clean up the roadway. So we took our rakes and shovels and began the task.
Soon there were people all over the place. Some came with tractors and graders; others drove pickup trucks and brought trailers and wheelbarrows. There were fence mender's, trash haulers, dugout cleaners, carpenters, cement workers, and grass seeders. One couple brought coffee and donuts; they became the food providers for the group.
One man did a lot of walking back and forth, smiling and saying words of encouragement to us as we continue to rake, shovel, and poked debris out of trees. He was using a walkie-talkie to communicate with someone. I guess he was a supervisor, probably self-appointed.
No one told us what to do beyond the first directive we received when we got there, so we kept on raking, shoveling, and poking things out of trees. We made a number of neat piles of trash that others hauled away later.
About noon we felt we had finished our task. Since no one had said anything to us about another job, we went home. The experience was interesting. People found things to do without much direction. (As the ball diamond was an obvious mess, we all knew our task was to clean it up.) It seemed people did the things for which they were equipped and which they felt comfortable doing. Obviously, we were comfortable being rakers, shovelers, and pokers. Nothing fancy, but it helped get the job done.
The experience reminded me of the gifts of the Spirit, which are listed in Scripture in several places (see 1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12:1-13; Ephesians 4:1-16). We all come with God-given gifts and abilities. We may know what they are beforehand, or sometimes it may take some time to discover them. Regardless of that, however, they can be used to accomplish great things—in our communities, in our churches, in our neighborhoods, or even in getting a ball diamond ready for summertime baseball.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You have equipped us wonderfully to serve You and others. May we always use our gifts to do so. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, June 1983 issue, "Debris and Diamonds" by Jon Suel
1. Do you volunteer your time for people or causes? Do you find the experience rewarding?
2. What gifts do you think God has given you for the service of others? Do you get a chance to put them into action fairly often? How so?
3. How can we serve God in the small and ordinary things we do in our lives?
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