You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.Galatians 5:13
Upon reflecting on my time as a Turner Fellow, I realize what new depth has been brought to my understanding of both service and relationships. We are constantly faced with the choice of whether to serve ourselves or to serve others (and therefore God). Before this summer, I often categorized service as grand gestures and pre-planned sacrifices of time and resources. However, I’ve come to understand that so much more service is done in the small, daily moments spent with others. In these moments, it is often harder to sacrifice, because we are mentally unprepared and unwilling to give of ourselves. However, it is these moments that ultimately impact the most.
On the last day of Summer is for Kids, one of the kids grew frustrated with me, because I didn’t play cars with him. From his view, I was ignoring him and not interested in being his friend. In my brain, I was just trying to accommodate the six different kids asking me to do six different activities. I was able to talk it out with the little boy, and we were able to move on when I diverted all my energy to playing with him. In the past, I’ve approached service with big goals of impacting as many people as possible to produce bigger change. However, this summer has taught me that to change the world, I have to start with one person. It is from everyone’s collective efforts to change their own world that the world is changed one person at a time. I’ve learned that the depth of service is much more valuable than the reach.