We have a way greater chance to change the world for Jesus if we will humble ourselves to serve others. The holiness of a heart is tested in the willingness to serve. Today we learn from Juve and Jesus how to bring servanthood to the forefront…
25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
9 Acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought.
Our personal trainer, Juve the Mexican life guard, continues to help us understand how to develop ourselves and inspire the best in others. We have been reflecting on my observations of Juve over the last few days, and today there is another example of Juve’s personal bests.
Sometimes, after finishing his 1600 metre swim in the active water off the beach, Juve serves others around him. The other main beach activity in the morning is the removal of seaweed. For a number of years, the Caribbean coast of Mexico has experienced a problem with a seaweed called Sargassum washing to shore. Resorts employ grounds crews to rake and wheelbarrow the seaweed off the beach every morning so the guests can enjoy the pristine beaches of the travel brochures…
Sometimes, Juve finishes his morning swim, and then he acts as the wheelbarrow man for a few runs with the seaweed. The regular crews fill the wheelbarrows, and then one walks it at a leisurely pace, down the beach to their compost. Juve literally runs the wheelbarrow down the beach and back as part of his exercise regimen.
I notice a few things about this scenario as I see it play out. First, Juve doesn’t think he is above shuttling the wheelbarrow. He is willing to do the work of the grounds crews. I’m pretty sure the status of life guard is higher on the org chart than seaweed raker, yet Juve engages with others as equals in the mission of a great guest experience. His service to them is a motivator that they are not in their work alone, and are part of a great, expansive team of people with a singular mission. And finally, serving others is a core part of Juve’s character and his role.
Juve doesn’t view that he serves drowning swimmers only. He serves.
There is a lesson here in leadership, and also in life in general. We often want to be served rather than being the ones who roll up their sleeves to serve others. We can go through life like that, yet the better way is to consider our true role model of Jesus, who came as the creator of the world to humble himself in human form to serve us in life and then in death. Jesus is our ultimate model of servanthood.
When we serve others, we serve God, and we show our willing minds and devoted hearts to God. Notice how those two things go together? The holiness of a heart is tested in the willingness to serve others, and particularly the unholy of the world. That’s right. Jesus was willing to serve, first and foremost, the people whom the world would discard and throw away.
How’s your servant heart? Have you figured out how to express your holiness in action? Your relationship with God in relating to others? We will have a way greater chance to change the world for Jesus if we are willing to humble ourselves to serve others before ourselves.
Happy New Year.