Hope, She Wrote: On the subject of serving others
A new year paves the pathway to new adventures, and one path I’m particularly pleased about is my recent post as columnist for The Minto Express. Below you’ll find an excerpt from my first exposition for the popular weekly paper.
I’m not sure when I first answered the call, but volunteering for me has long been a vital part of life. When I was a child, my parents instilled in me the importance of serving others as a complement to my faith, and as long as I can remember, I have thrived off the soul-satisfying sweetness of even the simplest act of helping another.
Ironically, volunteering is typically characterized by selflessly providing service to help an organization or an individual; however, there is an incomparable sense of satisfaction that settles in one’s soul as a result of service to others. Volunteering is just as much an exchange as it is an act of giving.
You may be thinking that you don’t have time to volunteer or extend a helping hand, and I get that. We live in a world that is increasingly gaining momentum. We’re always connected, always on the go, and consistently encouraged to push our limits and plunk more on our plates and to-do lists. In fact, it’s not “cool” to have free time or a night off these days. It’s easy to get caught up using the bad word “busy” (hey, I’m just as guilty as anyone), but it’s important to remember to make time for the things that really matter.
Maltbie Babcock (early American writer, you may remember him as author of the famous hymn ‘This is My Father’s World’) once said that “the workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won.” What we do in those rare hours when we don’t have anything to do is what really counts. And what could be better than sharing some of your spare time with someone in need? Everybody, at some point in his life, has a need. Not everybody makes the time – or has the willingness – to help.
There are several reasons why people volunteer – to fill a need, to feel needed, to gain skills, to make an impact, to feel proud, for exercise, – and whatever your motive, remember this: When you serve others, you’re fulfilling one of your life’s purposes.