Sunday school time plopped down right in front of me at Hartsfield International Airport. As our family arrived in Atlanta, I witnessed countless acts of kindness.
A sharply dressed woman in a wheelchair was giggling as she carried on a conversation with her "driver," most likely her daughter, who was also laughing as she pulled carry-on luggage for both of them.
A lanky ticket agent silently offered a box of tissues to a sobbing 10-year-old boy who was clinging to his mother.
Hundreds of men and women, covered in fatigues, shifted their heavy backpacks as they inched toward the front of a line and an unknown future.
These life lessons reminded me to reflect on God's message to have a servant's heart. The Bible lists the word "serve" more than 1,000 times. By the way, being waited on "hand and foot" wasn't even in there.
In the gospel of Mark, Jesus says, "For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve" (Mk 10:45 NIV).
That's pretty humbling. Service is not usually associated with the top 10 career choices or things to do on a vacation. Often, it involves selflessness, effort and respect. Most of the time, it goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
It's so easy to get caught up in expecting others to serve. Sometimes, I have been upset when I don't receive courteous, professional service.
How often do I provide this to others? Am I consistent? Do I do it willingly, or do I have to be reminded? Do I give with a resentful attitude? Or, do I moan and brag until someone praises my efforts? Yuck.
In Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he wrote:
"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7).
Today's airport examples remind me once again that God is present in my daily life. The gospel message to serve is given to everyone, including me.
Lisa Hetzel can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.