Friday, May 27, 2011

Some thoughts on Service

This will probably be short and likely scatter-brained as it's been a long day and my alarm clock is ringing in a few short hours. See, tomorrow I'm going to Alabama to do some disaster relief work in one of the many areas that are still reeling from the tornados that passed through exactly a month ago. I'm really excited about going... even though it means being outside in the 90 degree weather, sweating (although, let's be honest, not as much as I sweated at hot yoga this past Tuesday ha!), and probably lifting big branches and other heavy things all day. I've really felt a big pull towards service recently, and I guess I'm just excited to move in the direction that the pull is taking me!

W and I both have always had somewhat of a desire to serve people (W more than me, honestly), which is why we both spent a year-ish teaching inner-city kids, and which is also why we're both looking at careers in non-profits aimed at helping various populations in need. I don't think either of us really think about it that much... it's just kind of how things are to help us feel useful and sleep well at night. That said, I feel like God has laid on my heart recently the desire to bump it up a notch in terms of service. This is probably partway because it seems like all any of us see day in and day out is the massive need all around us. But, I think it's also because of another reason...

Lately, I just feel kind of weird and selfish about how un-attached I am. It feels very strange (and liberating, I guess) that I can just totally do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it, without consulting anyone or having to even care what anyone else thinks about it. It matters to no one else where I put my money, or how late I sleep in on Saturdays, or how many times I do or don't wash my car. It is BIZARRE... granted, I know at a certain level what I do affects others, but I think you know what I mean. While W is trying earnestly to feign love for carrots so that T doesn't feel bad about his new anti-inflammation diet... I am chowing down on Taco Bell, relatively guilt-free. And, while being in a relationship didn't have TOO much extra bearing on any of these things... being 100% unattached still feels markedly different.

This is especially true when more and more of my already married friends are now starting to have kids. Like, real, legitimate, inside-of-wedlock kids. And suddendly it feels like all the married people are like the "real" adults, who have big-time responsibilities and worries, and all of us non-married people are like fake adults who are in this perpetual state of college-y freedom and fun. And on the one hand, I kind of love it (I do feel like I'm having almost as much fun now as I did in college) but on the other hand it, again, makes me just feel weird and almost guilty, like it's not okay to be this unburdened and still be an adult. But what can I do? If I had the choice, I'd be married. I'd take on the responsibilities gladly. And yet, here I find myself.

Which brings me back to service... the only way I can really reconcile these feelings is to dedicate more and more of myself to service to others. If God is keeping me in this unattached stage for a reason, I'm pretty sure it's not solely so that I can selfishly live out my 20s in a young-adult collection of glory days. So, if I don't have the option of giving myself to someone specifically and to little hypothetical children... I might as well make myself useful in the meantime. This is not at all a new thought - pretty much everyone under the sun says that being single is the best time to be useful for Christ... even Paul haha - but just one that I'm experiencing in a new way currently.

I feel super blessed to have an AWESOME community of single friends and peers here who are also passionate about serving. And it's kind of cool because I'm starting to see (and enjoy) how serving really does make you feel like you and all of the others you work alongside are the body of Christ in the world. And that, in and of itself, gives us single people a place of belonging and almost family where we would otherwise potentially be floundering on our own. It's wonderful how perfectly God designs things, right!?

Anyway, just some thoughts. I'm sure when I'm several years older with (God willing) a wonderful husband and a few kids I'll look back at this time fondly... and with unbelief at how easy and carefree it was. So, let me use this time purposefully and joyfully, and appreciate it for the gift that it is.

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