I was invited to speak to a community organization and was told I could choose the topic. It took me several days to settle on something among a sea of possibilities.
This service organization does a lot to help the community. As I looked around the room filled with business owners and community leaders, I tried to make as much eye contact as possible to say, “thank you.” Thanks for time, effort, and generosity. These people often get asked to help, and they are abundantly willing. It’s the purpose that draws them together. They rarely want acknowledgement, but it’s still important to express our gratitude.
It is the same for us. We need to pause and take a breath of gratitude when we habitually pour into others. Sharing our lives with and for others is energizing yet we need a pause to keep it all in context.
The motivation for service should always be humility, but if we’re honest, pride can easily sneak in. Gratitude is never intended to inflate us. If anything, it gives us a reset, a reality check of why we serve others. Gratitude should not minimize our service but multiply it.
I challenged the group to take three action steps that day, and now I’m challenging you.
- Express your gratitude to someone today, whether their service focused on you or others.
- Drive or walk a new route today. Notice progress and needs. Take inventory of and appreciate your community.
- Decide on one service action step. It might be something you do on your own, or you might be able to gather others and serve together.
That’s community, as God intends.