Myrtle Beach, SC
“Doing the will of God allows no time for disputing his plan.” - George MacDonald
“The only expenditure, and all its outworkings, for which God can be held to be responsible is that which he directs.” - Amy Carmichael
I am learning that there are distinctly different modes of being helpful to my fellow man. There are niceties, service and then there is following God’s will.
We all perform niceties. I define a nicety as doing something for someone else that they are fully capable of doing for themselves, but I am making a conscious decision to do it as an act of kindness. This may be mowing someone’s yard when we know they are busy, taking care of their pets when they are away or any of thousands of others. The thing with niceties is that if I have expectations of some payback or if I have the subconscious notion that somehow the person is going to be indebted to me or think I am a hero, the end result of having done it is that I feel worse than if I had never done it at all. Niceties are great for building relationships, but they must be expectation free.
Then there is being of service to others. I define service as doing for someone else what they are incapable of doing for themselves. Service may range from something as mundane as teaching someone how to garden to performing hospice and allowing them to die in their own home with dignity. With service, I have developed expectations, but they are not anything like they used to be. When I perform service for others, I always gain the benefit of clearing space in my own head and attaining perspectives that were previously out of reach to me. So my expectation of service is that it will create a gap large enough in my thinking that I can hear the intuitive voice or that I will distance myself enough from my current circumstance that I will gain perspective.
Although I am convinced that it is “God’s Will” in an overall sense that I perform both niceties and service, there are other times that I get the clear intuitive message to help a specific person. For some reason I am usually reluctant when the situation presents itself to me as I already have an agenda going that I am convinced is “God’s Will.” But every time I follow that prodding, God replaces whatever I thought I had with something much better. Examples abound; here is a specific one.
I had myself lined up to do a story on the airplane pilots who tow the advertisement banners along the coast. I wanted some aerial photos of Myrtle Beach to go with a story, and although the planes fly out of my equipment’s range when they are towing, I could get some shots as we headed out and came back.
I was lined up to fly with a fellow at ten am one morning. That morning I got up and went to a meeting at a local church I had heard about. At the meeting I met a fellow visiting from out of town who was there trying to help his mother out of a fix she was in. It was clear I was supposed to take some time with the fellow and talk to him, but this meant losing my chance to go up in the plane.
I reluctantly went ahead and spent the time with the fellow. We walked on the beach and I listened to him for an hour or so, and was able to share a bit of experience I have had with similar situations. At 9:30 the banner company guy called and said there was a problem with the plane and he wasn’t going up. The fellow I was with caught on to the conversation, and asked me about it. I explained it to him, and he said “My uncle flies helicopters out of here – right up the street. Want to see if he can get you up?” 45 minutes later I am up in a helicopter getting the close up shots of the main drag that I wanted.
Now, we can say this is coincidence, but when it happens every time and time after time at some point we exceed the mathematical bounds of what we call “coincidence.” When God calls me to do something specific and I follow through, he gives me a much better outcome than what I thought I was missing out on. So I guess I have developed the expectation that when I am called on to do something, God knows my needs better than I do and will more than take care of them. Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Well, I have not been disappointed yet, and that makes me even more eager to do God’s work. Maybe, just maybe, expectations are not always a dangerous thing.
Today, may I be willing.
Make it a great day !!