5/23/08

Blessings of Service

On certain spring mornings, the cool air gently embraces my senses. There is a damp stillness that greets me as I walk out the door. I know this day will present much less inviting atmosphere as it progresses and I enjoy the beauty of the moment.

The day begins to evolve into mid-morning and then afternoon and the cool air is replaced by sun driven heat. My skin feels it, my senses tell me to seek cool shelter and retreat from the harsh heat that begins to invade. I am on the ground so I can't experience the events that God puts into motion when the temperatures begin to change.

Just after lunch most days, I can look out and see them - the buzzards - nature's little groundskeepers. Most people look at them and are repulsed by their ugly heads, their awkward bodies and yes, their pungeant odor they develop from a most disgusting job they have been assigned. God gives each of us an assignment. He gave the birds and beasts assignments way before our time. Unlike us, they do not have to seek their duties in life. They have the driving instinct to fulfill their mission as fulfillment of their mission is the only thing that guarantees their survival. Our free will gives us choice, their servitude gives them the will to serve.

I see the buzzards high in the air. Sometimes they are so high they look like tiny little dots. They move so gracefully and artfully, I wonder how anyone can find them repulsive. They spread their wings and they ride the currents that are created from the progress of the day. Seldom do they make the effort to flap, they simply move from one current to another as the air rises to meet them. They swirl, twist, dance to a melody created by God just for them.

The greatest part is, I get to witness this activity. I watch the skillful movements, I envy the sense of freedom they must experience and I wonder how they can ever want to come down from those skies. If there is a storm on the horizon, they can ride for hours, effortlessly. It's more beautiful than any ballet I have ever witnessed. If on their way they catch the scent of death - that stink we try to avoid - they will go to it and remove it from our world - taking it from our sight - cleaning our planet.

That's how it works really in my opinion. We have a mission given to us from God. Some of us spend our lives trying to find that mission but it's really simple - service! We simply are here to serve our higher power and one another. Our service alone is the ballet that highlights the orchestra of our intertwined lives. We are blessed along the way with skills, gifts and just daily events the give us pleasure from the service.

Those buzzards have to have been assigned the worst job on earth! They take it willingly because they are also designed to not realize it's disgusting to the human species and they really do not care how we feel about it. In exchange, the blessing of flight - a most free flight - is the gift returned to them for their service! They use that gift to more further glorify our creator in that witnessing it reminds us just how magnificent the world around us - our gift from God - truly is.

Many days when I come upon an assignment in the service of my job or in dealing with my family and neighbors, I think about those birds. They are really ugly creatures on the ground and they stink! I can be pretty ugly when I'm in rebellion or self-serving mode. But, when they fly - oh to be them! I want to fly like them. I want to know my blessings and I want to take those blessings to further glorify God. They do it effortlessly. It's my desire for reward that causes me to often do it selfishly.

I thank God for the day, the ugly birds, and my life! I thank Him for those who need me and for the skills He gave me to serve. I pray that my service to Him is as rewarding in his realm as those bird's service to me is.

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