Festival of Lights

excitement, volunteer, inspirationOur city hosts one of the largest free outdoor light displays in Canada. It takes place every evening for the month of December. The truly amazing thing about this display is that it is funded by donations and set up and run entirely by volunteers.

Recently my husband and I bundled up and headed to the park to work a three hour shift. Our jobs for the evening were as train assistants. One of the most popular attractions during the Festival of Lights is the miniature train ride that runs through the display. We took tickets, kept the lines moving in an orderly fashion and generally got to share in the joy of those boarding the train.

It was fun to see the excitement in the young children as they waited their turn to ride. When they spotted the train coming around the corner towards them, their enthusiasm was contagious. One little guy was so happy, he turned to my husband and said, “Have fun!” even though it was him going for the ride. The outside air may have been chilly but the hearts were definitely warm.

Volunteering three hours of our time was a small thing to do. The rewards of being part of this memorable experience for people were priceless. One of the things the Bible tells us to do is to use our energy to serve the Lord. By serving his people, I serve him. When I give of my time to volunteer, I am serving God in one of the best ways possible.

Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. Romans 12:10-12 GWT

Royalty

Jesus, serve, meaningful lifeAs a self-published author, the majority of my book sales have been ones I have generated. Recently my first royalty cheque arrived from the publisher. Receiving royalties meant that some people had found my book and purchased it through traditional sources. Although the cheque was not large, it was very exciting for me to receive it and I couldn’t help but share the news.

A few friends joked about the word royalty, insinuating that I was referring to myself as royalty. Responding to one, I said, “The crown is too uncomfortable. I’m happier being a commoner.”

Although this was all done in a light-hearted manner, it did give me something to think about. If I value my own thoughts, opinions and needs more highly than those of others, I am putting myself above them. Life is much more enjoyable when I treat everyone as equals. Doing what I can to help others is what makes my life most meaningful.

This was demonstrated clearly by Jesus. As the Son of God, Jesus could have expected to be served. Instead, he came to serve. If I want to follow his example, I need to do the same.

Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:24-27 NLT