Growing up and still to this day, my mom was usually the first one up in the morning. When I’d get up, she’d be at the same spot at the table with her coffee and often doing one of the puzzles in the newspaper. When I was a kid, she would have already gotten to work on breakfast for the rest of us and, early on at least, packed lunches for us. It was, and still is, an act of service – a way she showed her love through the way she served.
I don’t know if it is genetic but I inherited the early morning thing from my mom. On weekdays, I am usually up an hour or so before anyone else. On weekends, it is usually 2 hours or more. Some of that time is “me time” for meditation, prayer, reading, & writing. It is a quiet, still space when I am able to hear and feel God. But part of it is also serving my family just as my mom did. Our kids pack their own lunches now but there’s making coffee for my wife, quietly unloading the dishwater, and making breakfasts. Yesterday morning it was fresh biscuits for when the crew was up and moving.
We can serve others out of obligation and duty but the deep, transformational work comes out of serving out of love and giving of ourselves out of compassion and care. Our service is not out of what we receive from it but instead the ways it blesses others.
Jesus spoke of how he came to serve, not to be served. Paul later wrote of how it was the very acts of humility and service that exemplified the mind of Christ we were to have as well.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,Philippians 2:5-11
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.