In the course of our everyday life there are things we do that serve God, reflect God, and honor God, even though we may not realize it at the time. A few years ago I really wanted my boys to attend the church youth group but sports and other school activities made attending impossible. However, our church offered small groups for teens on Sunday nights where 10 to 20 kids met at a designated home to ate, played games, and learned about God. This was perfect; I was determined to have my boys attend. They agreed to go with one condition; they each could bring friends. Well, that sounded like a win win proposition to me; we had an agreement. And that’s how I began driving around picking up a few extra teenage boys every week and driving them to home group. It was my pleasure to take the boys even though each week was a wild adventure.
One spring Sunday evening the noise coming from the back two rows of my Expedition was several decibels above normal with the laughter, razzing, and bantering of seven boys between the ages of 13 and 15. The late spring sun was low in the sky but still bright. Its rays were filtered by the long, heavy branches of the majestic old cedars, pines, and maples that lined Bond Road creating mystic looking rays of sun across the highway. Spring was in the air and the boys had a raging case of spring fever. I leaned my head back against the head rest and took several deep cleansing breaths to help release the tension that was beginning to creep its way from my shoulders to my neck.
I turned up the jazz on the radio to drown out the noise coming from the back, but soon turned it off; there is no drowning out 7 rambunctious teenage boys in one car; silly girl. I was thankful this ride would last only 25 minutes. I found myself smiling and shaking my head many times as I listen to the fast flowing stream of conversation. I glanced in my rear view mirror frequently making sure random things were not being tossed from the car; it had happened before. Each time I glanced in the mirror I would see a different combination of heads; they were bobbing around imitating the flow of the conversation. “Is every one wearing their safety belt?” I asked. They all said “yes” and for one moment put on their innocent, angelic faces.
Every boy in my car was energized, feeding off each other’s need for more bantering which was getting more and more outrageous. A few times I had to say, “Hey, that’s enough” they were definitely dancing up to that line where a parent needs to step in, but they never went over it. This group of boys knew how to expertly navigate the space between the line and you’re in trouble.
All of a sudden there was quiet. Then I heard an eeeewwwwww, and a “who did it” and “Charlie gross” I quickly hit the window button and leaned my head towards it, but it was not opening up quick enough. Oh my gosh! I sucked in the fresh air as deeply as I could. The back of my car was really in a ruckus now. Six of the boys were making gagging noises and gas related comments while Charlie was doing his best to defend his self-respect when……. Oh, my gosh, he did it again. The boy sitting next to Charlie started pushing on his shoulder telling him to get out. Charlie flipped over the back row seat and put himself in the “way-back” compartment of my Expedition.
It seems the boys had a hot sauce eating contest before leaving my house and Charlie ate a whole slice of bread covered in a hot sauce aptly named “Pain.” I guess the Pain did not agree with his stomach.
After several more explosions from the back accompanied by loud comments we mercifully reached our destination. The instant I parked the car its doors flew open as boys spilled out. I pondered letting the home group leader know about Charlie’s problem but decided to let them find out on their own.
Now, what does this goofy story have to do with serving God you ask? Recently I ran into Charlie’s mom and we chatted for a while catching up on our respective families and agreeing that life was just so busy. She lamented about not having time to volunteer at church or go on missions trips. She went on to say how she appreciated my driving around picking up the boys and taking them to home group regularly. She said, “I really appreciated that, I think I will try to serve the Lord by doing what you did with my middle son.”
This was an eye opener for me, I recognized the home group leaders as serving the Lord after all they were teaching these young people about Godly principals. They were truly
doing a good work for the Lord and at times I had felt bad about not being able to lead a home group myself. I had no idea anyone was paying attention to my “home group taxi” and most of the trips to and from home group were anything but spiritual, but I was doing a good work for the Lord and people did notice. We can serve the Lord even in the little things that seem purely functional and undeniably not church like.
Frequently, we admire the home-group leader, Sunday school teacher, missionary, and preacher as having a ministry and purpose directed by God while our own daily lives are just a series of survival tactics. But this isn’t accurate. Our daily lives are filled with opportunities to do little and slightly unglamorous things that count in a big way to others. Remember, little things do count.
Debora Shelford Hobbs
John 12:26, If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, Him My Father will honor.