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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Help, I need a volunteer!

Have you ever taken one for the team? You know, that moment when people around you couldn't or wouldn't do an exceptionally unpleasant task. I'm sure you have done the yeoman's duty and washed the pots with burnt food stuck in them. I'm sure you have unclogged the stopped drain. I'm sure you have cleaned up after a child dealing with intestinal issues. I'm sure you have your own story of going beyond what the job description called for.

We are talking about service. We are talking about compassion. We are talking about sacrifice. The list of vocations is quite long when considering those who give of themselves in sacrificial manner.

This isn't a complete list but here goes. Moms, Dads, School teachers, Nurses, Fire fighters, EMTs, Police officers, missionaries, and spouses of all the aforementioned.

Fact is, God calls every person who has a pulse to set aside any notion of self-importance and do whatever is before us. We do so because somebody needs us. We do so because a life might hang in the balance. We do so because at some point in the past, somebody came to our rescue. We do so because our heart knows what it means to be grateful.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here

am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8, NIV)

The prophet Isaiah knew what it felt like to receive blessings from God. Isaiah, not a perfect person, asked God how he could do anything of value. Isaiah knew his life was not the model used for holiness posters. God fixed that notion pretty quickly. God cleansed Isaiah's lips and more importantly his heart. Gratitude drove Isaiah to step boldly forward when God asked the question, "Whom shall I send?"

Take a minute to consider gifts God has blessed us with and then take another minute to think of the ways we offer ourselves in service. Look deeply into our hearts and weigh our motives. Are they driven by success or financial gain? Are they fueled by some sort of need to be noticed or adulated? Or, is the main reason we volunteer our time for others based upon a heart brimming with gratitude? Hope it is the former and not the latter(s).

Now, take one more minute to pray with me this prayer.

O God, thank you for blessing me more than I deserve. Thank you for changing my heart and for opening my eyes to the needs around me. My best response to your grace and mercy is to boldly step forward when you call me. Here I am Lord, point me in the direction of your will and use me today. In the strong name of Jesus, I offer myself. Amen.

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