People talk about serving God. They talk about wanting to serve God. We spend a lot of time and words doing things that we think are a service to God.
As I was talking to some friends about learning how each of us is best made to serve God, I started thinking less about serving and more about being a servant.
I was thinking about being a servant at a fancy dinner in a big house. Think Downton Abbey. There is some rushing upstairs and downstairs. And then there is a lot of standing and waiting and watching for the hand of the guests. There is room for initiative, but the initiative can’t run ahead of the basics of keeping the glasses full and carrying the food at the right speed.
The disciples had to adjust their pace of life to that of Jesus. However fast he was walking was the speed they had to walk if they wanted to be with him.
I think that discernment processes for discovering our purpose often make us rush real fast or go through the six steps quickly. And I keep finding out that there may be many sleeps following a word from God. For example, if God says “wait and trust”, we keep wanting to know how long. But waiting on God, to use the servant (waiter) image, may mean a long wait.
A song writer put it this way:
I lift up my eyes to you,
to you whose throne is in heaven.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
Turns out, the standing and waiting IS serving.