Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Serving with Babes In Arms

 photo e2e7fd1f-184c-49d9-8cd4-ceb23e7475da_zpsugmvdwa4.jpg

He was the 'duty manager' for the day at church. That meant that he was leading the morning team, making certain people were in place to keep things running smoothly, and being the overall go-to person for the morning. He is not one of the paid ministry team, he's a volunteer who is willing to accept the responsibility on his Sunday on duty to help the ministers of the church not be bombarded by the myriad of things that can happen on a Sunday morning.

But, he is also a father. And on this Sunday morning, his ten month-old daughter decided that she, too, needed Daddy to be on duty in  her life. She wanted him. And he found himself in a place that parents often find themselves--trying to balance family and work and ministry and keep it all in perspective.

So, what did he do?  Without hesitation, he took his daughter in his arms and he led the newcomers down the aisle to open seats. He did both. He was her Daddy first and was happy to have her. But he never missed a beat in doing his duties as well. (And for her part, she was adorable pointing her chubby arms to the seats and smiling widely that she was in Daddy's arms.)

And in that simple act of just doing what needed to be done, I was encouraged. So often I can be flustered, thinking I have to sacrifice one for the other or do neither very well when family and ministry commitments collide. But sometimes the answer is not sacrifice, but combination. In our small group, we meet two weekends a month, in addition to mid-week Bible Study. It is a more relaxed time of fellowship and study that allows the whole family to attend. One of my main objectives, however, is not about the ministry I lead, it is about my family. I want my children to not only see me serve, but be able to serve alongside. When we are preparing the meal we serve together. The girls often plan a skit or activity for the younger children to be involved during Bible Study. They are learning to serve. Often I am asked if it bothers me to 'give up' Sundays for house group. The answer is 'no.' I'm not giving up family time--I'm serving with my family. I'm finding a way for combination not separation.

It is encouraging to me that I worship and serve within a church setting that encourages families to be family first and to serve together. That picture of that beautiful little girl in her Daddy's arms whilst he served the church will stay with me for a long time. I know she will grow up seeing her family serve. I pray that I give the same example to my children.

Thank you Father that you allow us to keep in harmony our family life and our ministry life--that it is the life that you have called us to live. Thank you for opportunities to teach my children to serve and for those amazing times when we serve side-by-side. Thank you that my family gives me the freedom to pursue my gifts and thank you that I can give them the same freedom. As you teach me more and more about living in balance and harmony, thank you for the picture of this father serving with his infant as a living example of your harmony. Amen.

photo from www.morguefile.com attributed to puravida

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