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What I’m about to tell you is rather embarrassing. I’m not proud of what I did. It wasn’t one of my finer moments. In fact, I’m grateful that no one was around to judge me for my poor decision making. Nevertheless, it happened. Before I tell you my dirty little secret allow me to give you some background on how we got to where we are today.
For many years my church was blessed to have someone who took it as there personal responsibility to oversee the finer details of baptisms. From the outside looking in it’s a pretty straightforward process. You get in the pool, get dipped under the water and get out. Pretty simple right? But if you took a moment to peer behind the scenes you would have noticed a little old lady that faithfully greased the wheels of our baptisms. Without fail, sweet little Grandma Alice would always ensure that fresh towels were placed next to the baptistry each morning. She would personally greet each one being baptized with a hug prior to them walking out and then patiently wait in the wings to receive a wet hug as they exited the baptistry. At the end of the service she would gather up all of the wet towels and baptistry robes, put them in a garbage bag and lug them to her car to be washed, dried and returned ready for the next baptism. I can recall on countless occasions her words to me as I exited the baptistry, “Just leave everything where it is, I’ll take care of it.”
A few years ago if my memory serves me, her health began to prevent her from filling this much needed role. Don’t get me wrong, things still get done. The towels are by the pool, the robes get dried and put back and the towels are washed but it’s just not the same anymore. The role is filled but now it’s filled more out of necessity than drive. What’s missing is the passion. She was passionate about filling that role. It wasn’t just something that needed to be done, it was hers to do. She owned it.
Now back to my embarrassing moment. As I exited the pool this morning and changed back into my dry clothes I stood in the doorway of the changing room hold a pile of wet robes and towels. I was suddenly reminded of the tremendous role that Grandma Alice played in the life of our church. As I contemplated my next move with my wet towels and robe I ran through a series of options: find something to bag them up in, hang the robe so it can dry, ring out the towels. I instead chose the cheap, lazy option. I simply threw them on the floor of the changing room and walked out. As I made my way down the hallway I reasoned that I would deal with my mess tomorrow.
As I’ve reflected on this series of events today I’ve been encouraged and reminded of some important lessons. I’m encouraged by the faithful service of Grandma Alice and others like her. I’m thankful for those men and women who have come before me and modeled what it looks like to use their gifts for God’s glory. Grandma Alice has impacted those being baptized for many years and for many years to come.
I’m also reminded that each one of us has an ability that God desires we use for His glory. There are no insignificant roles, there are no menial tasks that don’t matter. Peter says it like this in his first letter, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 from Bible Gateway.
Here’s my encouragement to you. Find a way to make a Grandma Alice size difference in the lives of those around you. Find a way to use your abilities for God’s glory in a way that when you are unable to continue, you are missed. It’s late, I’m tired and tomorrow morning, I’ll have to go clean up my mess. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.