October 19, 2005

Thoughts on Service

capBy living to minister for others, man is brought into connection with Christ. The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men."
--Ellen G. White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 326.

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." --1 Peter 4:10, NIV

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."--Anne Frank

"If you know history, you know there is no such thing as a self-made man or self-made woman. We are shaped by people we have never met."--David McCullough

"People who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed."--Lloyd Jones

"Our influence upon others depends not so much upon what we say as upon what we are. Men may combat and defy our logic, they may resist our appeals; but a life of disinterested love is an argument they cannot gainsay."--Ellen G. White,
The Desire of Ages, p. 142.

"One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something."
--Henry David Thoreau

"When the Word became flesh, God did not send a telegram or shower evangelistic Bible study books from heaven, or drop a million bumper stickers from the sky saying, 'Smile, Jesus loves you.' He sent a man, His Son, to communicate the message. His stategy has not changed. He still sends men and women--before He sends tracts and techniques--to change the world. You may think His strategy is risky, but that is God's problem, not yours."
--Rebecca Manley Pippert, Talking About Jesus Without Sounding Religious, p. 25.

"Asking which is more important, faith or actions, is like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is more necessary." --C. S. Lewis

"Every follower of Christ has a work to do as a missionary for Christ in the family, in the neighborhood, in the town or city
where he lives." --Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 632.

My Kitchen
This is my kitchen. It is beautiful! It has a large refrigerator and a large microwave. It has enough cabinets for the whole world to put stuff into them! My kitchen is so big that a washer AND a dryer were added without a problem. These two are also humongous. My kitchen has very good lighting, and, although you can't see it, it has a medium-size window that gives the sunlight during the day. I love my kitchen. I hope you do too. You are welcome to come and use it anytime . . .

Without exaggerating (since we Dominicans like to do that!) I spent at least 13 hours cleaning that kitchen. By the end, my hands, eyes, and head were hurting, and my legs felt as if they wanted to fall off. Instead of preparing my yearly school plans and weekly lesson plans, I fought with a kitchen. Here comes the interesting part: I did it with the full knowledge that I was going to be moving out of that apartment in less than a month, and perhaps having to do that same work all over again.

Why would I spend time talking to you about my kitchen? What does it have to do with service, mission work, or anything else? This is what my mission year is going to be all about. I am going to struggle; I am going to step on some dirty things; I am going to suffer, get tired, have many sleepless nights, and suffer hunger, disappointments, loneliness, and ups and downs. But at the end I am going to sit back and see how beautiful the end result will be.

After everything is said and done, and hopefully more done than said, the beautiful work will be left behind. And God willing, it will start all over again; maybe one month later, maybe a year later, maybe 10 years later; maybe here, maybe somewhere else, but wherever and whatever He tells me, that I will do.

I love my kitchen. I hope you do too. You are welcome to come and use it anytime . . . --Edwin Silié, mathematics missionary teacher, Guam Adventist Academy