In case you’re new to this blog, I’m pretty religious. But I’m not goofy about it (I hope!) It’s a big part of my life so I talk about it here on my blog. And of course if it weirds you out you can unsubscribe. Or just come back when I write another snotty post (they’re never far away!). Whether you’re religious or not I’m guessing that you think that helping people is a good thing and an important thing. Sadly it’s hard to find many opportunities to help people, unless you’re a mom and volunteer at school or something like that. In our church parlance we use the term “to serve”. We really are not all waitresses as that phrase may imply. But lucky for you if you are Mormon! So many opportunities to help! We are great at taking care of each other. And hopefully we are great at taking care of our neighbors too. I wrote this yesterday for Segullah but thought I’d include it here as well. Here you go:
It’s been five whole months since I was called as Relief Society President in my ward. Apart from the knowledge that there are way more depressed sisters than I had ever suspected, the thing that has most surprised me is how little time for service people have.
When you are the RS Pres the buck stops here. If somebody needs help and nobody steps up to the plate, guess who does it? The Relief Society President! There isn’t an army of magic angels who fill in because the sisters in the ward have to work, or take kids to gymnastics or go running or whatever. I’m not trying to guilt-trip you or make you feel bad or that you have crappy priorities. But we are a church that is heavily into service; if we schedule ourselves with no free time, there will be no time to serve.
We’ve all heard a jillion talks about how we are the Lord’s hands and “the errand of angels is given to women” and all that jazz. I’m assuming you know that. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you like to serve. I mean, theoretically, who doesn’t like to serve? When you can help someone who really needs help there is such a happiness and joy that you don’t really get many other ways. It’s like spiritual endorphins.
But when I see your Facebook updates every single day about how great your two-hour run was but the last three times I called to see if you could help a new sister move in, or cook a meal for somebody or give a family a ride to church, I’m going to raise my eyebrow and think, “what the heck?”.
I love to serve. Love it, love it, love it. I love that I can make somebody’s burden lighter. I love that when I help someone I am making the world a better place. There is a lot of really dreadful stuff in this world. But service undoes some of that. Helping those who need it is the grass roots way to make the Earth a splendid place.
And let’s not forget blessings! Service gives you blessings. I need lots of blessings. Maybe you don’t, though. Maybe you need yoga more than you need blessings. (OK, now I’m being a little mean. Sorry.) I just want you to know that service is an honor. It is a blessing to you and to those you love. It needs to be a priority in your life. In my life. In everyone’s lives.
There is nothing wrong with soccer or pilates or getting your hair colored. Please remember this as you schedule yourself or your children for activities: when you pack your day with a million busy things you are denying others—and yourself–one of the most sacred duties that we have. Which is to serve others as we would serve the Lord.