Service to me means being of help wherever I find myself. I cannot talk about service without mentioning some leaders that have influenced me. Examples of leaders that demonstrated what service means to me include, Martin Luther King Jr. who dedicated his life to the progress of African-Americans. He stood for what is right, and he died in the hope that African-Americans would have the freedom to do as they please in a land that they are entitled to as anyone else. Mother Theresa is an epic example of being a voice for the common good. She left her home, family, friends, and colleagues to pursue a calling that is greater than her life. She became the advocate for the poor, the rejected, the unwanted, the sick, the motherless and fatherless children in India. Mother Teresa dedicated her will, passion, and purpose to God by being his agent of blessing, peace, hope, joy and love to those who had nothing.
Gandhi is another example of someone who fought to bring about equality and peace in the midst of chaos and corruption. He demonstrated his passion and love for people and peace through going on hunger strikes as a way to protest for peace between different cultural groups. He understood that before change can happen, you must be willing to allow yourself to change from the inside out and then one can really make things happen for the benefit of others. Nelson Mandela’s story is that of persevere even in the harshest conditions. He was unjustly jailed because of his compassion for the plight of the dark-skinned South Africans. After spending 27 years in prison, Mandela’s release was a thing of joy, instead of repaying evil for evil; he went ahead and help restore the nation to her best. He served as their first black president and when his reign was over, he respectfully stepped down for others to have the privilege of doing the same. He was not greedy with the power and the place he had because he understood what it was like to be hopeless, helpless and without power. He is a beloved man both in South Africa and all around the world just because of his principles and what he stood for.
Jesus Christ is the perfect example of service at its best form. He came and laid down his life to set us free. He helped delivered us from bondage and the hands of the devil. He brought liberation, freedom and liberty to a dying world. His life on earth was just for 33 years but within 3 years of those thirty something years, he shook the world with his teachings and principles. His demonstration of servant leadership is something the world is still trying to wrap her head around. We keep wondering and saying, how could he love so truly and so purely? How could he give his life in exchange for our own? How could he suffer for what he did not do? Well, I do not claim to have all the answers but I do know one thing for sure, his ways are simple and easy to understand, all he ever ask from us his to trust him, to love him, love others and live our lives in a way that will bring about the common good in all of us.
All of these personalities I briefly talked about showed the heart of service in its greatest form. They chose to act despite their fears despite the obstacles, problems and challenges that they met as they tackled what mattered to them. These leaders were ordinary people like me who did extraordinary things by finding their voices and refusing to keep quiet about issues that they held dear to heart. We are so plaque with the worry of, what will people say about me? What will they think? We do not have guns on our head, we do not have hostile crowds around us, we do not even have to go to jail but we are being held captive by our fears and insecurities as well as by our comforts and securities.
We allow ourselves to become immobile by the plaque of ‘what ifs”. We become complacent because we do not want to ruffle any feathers, we become anxious because we do not want someone to stop being our friend, we become lukewarm because we do not want to be the weird one, we shrink down because we do not want to be the only one standing out, well, guess what? In light of eternity, it does not matter! We are all going to give an account of how we lived our lives. We are going to be called up to explain what we did with the time, talents, gifting and blessings that the lord has graciously bestowed upon us.
We are not the only one that have ever been afraid or had insecurities. These servant leaders I mentioned also had it too but they too it a step further, they let go of their security, comfort zone and safe net to reach out and make significant differences in the lives of people who crosses their path. They reached out and touched lives. They summed up the courage to live a life that was not self-gratifying but for the common good. They chose not to live for themselves but for others. They all sort of laid down their lives in various ways and used it for others to reach their potentials. This is the hallmark of service, doing everything in one’s power to make others around us reach their utmost potentials.
Service is doing something of value that will outlive us as the lives of the leaders I mentioned outlived them. It is a great adventure to embark on. Yes, most of these leaders are dead but their works speak for them. People like Jesus, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Nelson Mandela affected the world they lived in and beyond, this is what we should all strive for in our daily lives.
I cannot speak for anyone else, but I will surely speak for myself. I have been so blessed by the history of the services these people rendered that I so wish that when I go down in history, that is, at the end of my life on this earth, I want to be hold in as much regards as they were held, I want my work to speak for me. I want to so touch people’s lives that it will extend beyond my lifetime.
This is the greatest hallmark of service. The world is in dire need of people like the Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and the likes. We cannot afford to sit back and fold our arms. Service is something we all can offer. It is something that is selfless and bears great and mighty rewards and dividends to all people regardless of their race, background, sex, and station in life. I am challenging you to live a life of service. Are you going to rise to the challenge? The possibilities are endless if you will be courageous enough to pursue it.