Do you ever feel like you are always the one who is asked or chosen to do everything? It could be at church, at school, at work, or taking care of a family member in need, you are always the one doing the majority of the work. I know we can complain about being asked to do it all, but maybe we should stop and think about why we are asked to volunteer, or why we somehow wind up doing things that we never expected we would have to do on our own.
I was flipping through channels and landed on the hit 1950’s sitcom, ‘Father Knows Best‘ which was a show about the Anderson family, a Middle-American family. This was back in the day when the father went off to work, mama took care of the household, and the children were taught to be respectful of their parents. Yeah, imagine that. Those old television shows always ended with a lesson learned, and this show is one of my favorites. The Anderson’s son Bud, along with his friends, wanted to have a party and all of the fellas voted that it would be at the Anderson home on Saturday, which happened to be the next day. This was kind of dropped on Mr. and Mrs. Anderson at the last minute and it was too late for the Andersons to prepare everything by themselves, so Bud’s father asked him if the other boys could help set things up. Well, the boys had a ballgame so no, they couldn’t help. Then Mr. Anderson had Bud call the other parents to see if they could help. Those parents gave every excuse in the book so that they wouldn’t have to help out. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were quite put out and told Bud to cancel the party. Mr. Anderson commented, “Why are we the only ones around here who are expected to take care of all the neighborhood kids?” Early the next morning, the Andersons were surprised when those other parents started showing up to help get things ready for the party even though it had been canceled. Their consciences had gotten to them. As Mrs. Anderson was helping the women in her kitchen, one of the mothers said to her, “My son is always talking about how welcoming this home is. He says that he always feels a warmth when he visits, and thinks of you and your husband as friends. A home is made up of the souls of the people who live there, and Mrs. Anderson, you and your husband are good souls.” The Andersons realized what they thought of as being taken advantage of, was instead an appreciation and love for who they were. They had that gift of making others feel welcomed in their home and were always there to serve. This is why I like those old television shows over what comes on the “Boob-Tube” these days. They were not only wholesome, but a lot of them had a good spiritual lesson.
One of the gifts God gives to certain people is the gift of being a servant to others. I have always had a very difficult time saying no to people. In the past I would sometimes just wear myself out mentally and physically because I couldn’t say no. There was one particular time my husband noticed how tired I was becoming. I was a young mother of two and having a hard time “serving” my own family along with all the other people I was taking care of. He told me I needed to learn how to stop saying yes to everyone who needed something done. I don’t think he (who has the gift of a teacher) understood why I couldn’t do that. Well, to tell the truth, neither could I really. Then I watched a sermon from Dr. Charles Stanley about why the little voice in my head was pushing me to serve and why people kept asking me to do things. Dr. Stanley was talking about the spiritual gifts that God gave us. He spoke about his mother having the gift of service and all that she did. I thought, “That’s me.” God had spoken through Dr. Stanley to help me figure out why I seemed to be exhausting myself and couldn’t stop. These days I still say yes more times than no. The difference is that if I feel overwhelmed, I understand why I had to say yes. When I do say no, boy do I feel guilty about it. I guess it’s that God-given gift gnawing at me when I can’t or don’t use it.
If you ever ask yourself why am I the only one expected to “take care of the neighborhood kids,” there is a reason that you have been chosen to do so. Just like the parents on ‘Father Knows Best,’ people see your good soul. They feel your warmth and caring attitude, something that not everyone has or shows. God has given this gift of serving and caring for others to you. His light shines out like a spotlight so that you are the one chosen, because He knows the best person needed for the job. You may be having to do that work alone. You may be exhausted from it all and it may seem like you are constantly being taken advantage of, but when you’re feeling a little put out about giving so much of yourself and your time to others, just remember……. our Father knows best.
May the God of peace provide you with every good thing you need in order to do His will, and may He, through Jesus Christ, do in us what pleases Him. And to Christ be the glory forever and ever! Amen. —Hebrews 13:21