Service — A Blessed Habit

This quote was part of my devotional reading this morning, and I think it suits our theme well.  It was written by Frances Ridley Havergal, daughter of an Anglican clergyman. You may know her famous hymn, Take My Life.

“Begin at once.  Before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of this day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints.  Never mind about tomorrow;  one day at a time is enough.  Try it today, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful, when tomorrow comes, to ask Him to take it also,–till it will become a blessed habit to hold yourself simply and ‘wholly at Thy commandment for any manner of service.’  The whatsoever is not necessarily active work.  It may be waiting (whether half an hour or half a life-time), learning, suffering, sitting still.  But shall we be less ready for these if any of them are His appointments for today?  Let us ask Him to prepare us for all that He is preparing for us.”


n. pl. sym·bi·o·ses (-sēz)

1. Biology A close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may, but does not necessarily, benefit each member.

2. relationship of mutual benefit or dependence. 

As a self professed introvert relationships sometimes seem to be a lot of hard work. I mean, do you know how emotional people can get!? Its exhausting, almost nobody just says:

‘Hey, You take a nap while I bring you some wine and dark chocolate.’

I suppose that would fall under number one of the symbiosis definition, and that wouldn’t be very fair. Definition number two, the one that says a relationship is of mutual benefit, is probably the better deal though. 

While everyone has great capacity to be selfish, and lazy; absolutely no one was put on this earth solely to be served. Not even me. God’s own son (think about that) came not be served but to serve. Therefore, I can hardly expect someone else to leave me in introvert paradise, with only the occasional appearance of a loyal maid or butler. People, like it or not, need other people. We are designed that way.

Genisis 2:18  The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”  

Side Note Ladies: By ‘man’ I’m including the meaning ‘man-kind’.

Sure it’s work to have and be in relationships, but that’s because we’re a fallen people in a flawed world. If everything were the way God first intended us to be, then the best part of our relationships today could be considered but a glimpse, a shadow of the reality it could have been. What I believe we can expect in heaven.

In the mean time, we just need to continue to drown our old selves in our baptismal waters and allow our Christ renewed selves to fill the relationships we have.


Set Your Mind on Grace

In my last post, I talked about how a reborn Christian should think, and the kind of things we need to “set our mind on.”  It made me remember my Via de Cristo weekend and how it was a time of “renewing my mind.”(Romans 12:2).

 A weekend is 72 hours away from the world.  Participants (they are called pilgrims) are asked to turn off their cell phones, take off their watches and leave their electronics at home. They don’t need to worry about the time.  They don’t have to cook or clean up. There are no chores. They have three days to “set their minds” on God’s grace. 

 There are a number of talks on the weekend, some by pastors, others by lay people, but the thread holding them all together is grace.  We talk about how God’s grace is habitual, i.e., everyone in the world benefits from it (you know, rain falls on the just and unjust alike).  However, we each experience times when God acts “gracefully” and specifically in our own lives. In fact, every one of us lives a grace-filled life and if we only take the time to let this realization sink in, we will naturally want to share His grace with the world.

 In addition to hearing about grace, we experience it directly in the love of team members who give up their time to serve coffee, cook food, clean up, and take care of the hundreds of details that make up the retreat.  We meet new Christian friends who have time to share and listen and hug and laugh and sing and cry with us.

 What an opportunity!  At home we have a million things to distract us:  bills, chores, children, spouses and yes, even those worthwhile church and volunteer activities.  How often do most of us get to truly be Mary, setting at the feet of Jesus and just listening, being completely focused?

I didn’t get any new knowledge or secret insights on my weekend.  The theology is just straightforward Lutheran teaching. What I did get was a taste of “ fixing …(my) eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”(Hebrews 12:2) and some tools and suggestions to help me keep doing that.

Via de Cristo is a national organization that sponsors weekends all over the country.  You can learn more at or email one of us at our church website