One of the greatest things that ever happened to me was washing dishes. Washing dishes, scrambling eggs, mopping the floor and taking out the trash was as important as any class I ever took or role I’ve ever played.
I was going on a men’s ministry event which lasts six days and it was my first time to come and serve as staff on the event. There were 23 men going through the event and a dozen of us serving them and facilitating the event. The first time back meant that I was responsible to work in the kitchen as more experienced volunteers in this forum were ministering.
At the time, I had a law degree, was a former Army officer and owned a business. I had a family and was about 40 years old. The leader of the kitchen on this trip was a 22-year-old college student.
Now, I was as about as prideful of a person as you could imagine (although I didn’t fully realize it at the time) and there was nothing that made sense about the “kid” being “in charge.” I had a choice to make and the choice was kind of in my face. Was I willing to submit to this young man’s leadership or not?
I am thankful that Andrew was so young as we didn’t need to wade into the event several days and do the dance of comparison and evaluation to determine if he was deserving of respect in my estimation. He was so much younger and less experienced that I had to choose up front and day one to either submit or not. I did, and I’m glad.
This was the first step in a transformative journey. It’s Jesus that changes us but He almost always does it through our experiences that depend on our choices. Because I was willing to choose to submit, I was stepping towards freedom from pride.
That first step was liberating as I chose to serve without requirements attached. Just to be the least and do what was needed in the kitchen. It wasn’t familiar territory and I can’t say that I’ve mastered it, but the journey has brought depth of insight into such things as:
- many other Kingdom realities which are being unfolded
Mostly, it has brought insight into Jesus. He told us that He came to serve, not to be served. Our calling in ministry or any form of leadership has to be based and rooted in this Truth of sacrificial service. The benefit is in the scrambled eggs and dirty dishes.