I don’t know about you, but, I have some seriously stinky feet. Maybe it’s my love for flip flops, or that I sweat alot…. or maybe it’s both! Needless to say, I wouldn’t volunteer to wash someone’s feet if they were as stinky as mine. However, one summer when I was working at a Christian camp, my Head Counselor washed my feet.
Not just mine, (I was the Program Director that summer) but also the feet of the five female counselors. I know what you’re thinking. That seems a bit odd right? Well you see, there had been some dissension amongst the females (big surprise right!) and so, to demonstrate the act of a servant, he came in, talked to us and told us was going to wash our feet. I remember two of the girls going nuts, saying things like “You’re not washing me feet. Don’t touch my feet. Eww that’s gross.” And on and on they went. I also remember getting upset with them. I understood that he was demonstrating being a servant to us, that we might be better servants to one another.
I was reminded of this story because I have been reading through John. Yesterday, I read John 13 where Jesus washed the Disciples’ feet and was in awe that He would humble himself, to the position of a servant to was the Disciples’ stinky, dirty feet. Remember, they didn’t walk around in their Nikes. They had sandals, and it was dusty!
Then, this morning as I was thinking more about it. I’m called to be a servant, not a doormat, a servant. I’m sure some of you are thinking that the two of those words mean the same thing in our culture. And to some extent, unfortunately, I do agree. But why? Because we all don’t want to be servants. We want to be served. We don’t want to humble ourselves to the position of servant. Why do so many women hate being in the home as a homemaker? Because you have to be a servant. Why is there this strive to climb the corporate ladder? Because if you’re the little guy, you have to serve.
As I was thinking about this in relation to my family, and more specifically, my children, I think “Obviously, I serve them. I cook their food, wash their clothes, change their diapers, I’m good.” And yes, those things are a service to them. BUT, am I teaching them to serve one another? Or am I being ‘such a servant’ they aren’t learning how to serve. Am I doing it all, instead of passing on the act of service and the joy it can bring? You see, if I’m not doing that, I’m going to get burned out. The joy of serving will no longer be there. It will be a drag, a job, a drudgery. It will get me frustrated, angry, and unhappy.
So today, while we are serving those around us, let us do it with joy and happiness. If you have the great blessing of being home, remember to teach your children how to serve one another. Teach them there is joy in serving those around them, and be the example of that. Tell them how Jesus came to serve us, and likewise, we serve others.
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