Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
|(photo taken by J. Hall)|
Providing service is an ennobling act. Those who serve develop kindness, love, and patience. Those who serve develop cheerful countenances.
“Service makes us strong in our faith and useful in His kingdom. Service gives us purpose and courage in life. It brings us closer to God and helps us refine our divine nature. It teaches us to love and understand our fellowmen, and it helps us forget about our personal desires, eliminating selfishness, pride, and ingratitude. It teaches us to think of the needs of others, which allows us to develop the virtues that the Savior possesses.” (Carlos H. Amado, Service a Divine Quality)
There are unexpected opportunities to serve every day. Many times those opportunities present themselves in small simple ways, such as holding the door open for another person, calling a lonely friend, feeding the pigeons in the parking lot, or complimenting the cashier at the grocery store. Once in a while a service opportunity comes along that requires a little more work, a little more time and effort, and a little more sacrifice. Do we recognize those opportunities and brush them off because there are other things we have planned to do instead or do we try to “be the good in the world” (as my Relief Society president likes to say) and serve anyway?
Friday Mr. Ferrero Rocher and I took the seven younger children with us to Reno. The children stayed with Grandma and Grandpa while we attended the temple. It was wonderful as usual. Peaceful, calm, beautiful. We saw many people we know – friends from different towns. It was nice to visit and catch up on their families’ news.
While leaving the temple parking lot Mr. FR commented on all the tumbleweeds that had piled along the fence line of the temple and all along the property. I hadn’t even noticed them!
Back at his parents house we visited some more. Then I asked the kids if they wanted to stop and walk around the temple before we headed for home. Mr. Ferrero Rocher mentioned the tumbleweeds and it was decided that we would go and clean them up right then.
Mr. FR, his dad (who is the temple president), Mr. FR’s brother (who was also visiting), his two daughters, and five of our children (from Special Dark to Brownie), all trekked down to the temple bundled up in coats and gloves. I sat in the van with Ganache and Hershey and we watched. It took them over an hour to take every single tumbleweed from along the fence, stuck amongst the shrubbery and tucked along the curbs of the parking lot. They also picked up trash that the wind had blown in along with the tumbleweeds.
The children returned to the van, very rosy cheeked but very happy. It didn’t matter that it was cold, that the wind was blowing and biting. They were excited to have helped make the temple grounds more beautiful! And while I didn’t have a camera to document their service, they do have that memory of unexpectedly working alongside their cousins, dad, uncle, and grandfather to beautify the temple grounds.
I am thankful for a husband who saw a need and didn’t hesitate to offer help. He (and his brother) obviously learned it from his parents. I am thankful that they enlisted even the four year old to help. I am thankful for children who wanted to serve and work even though it meant missing a trip to the bookstore. And most of all, I am thankful to a loving Heavenly Father who presented our family with an opportunity to serve in an unexpected way.
I wonder how many opportunities I have missed because I have been too caught up in my own little world of ‘cares and sorrows.’ If I actually knew I’d probably be pretty ashamed of myself. My goal for this week to look for those unexpected opportunities to serve every day.
Have you found yourself serving in unexpected ways?