Why Serving God is Not on my To-Do List
Inspired by the Gospel according to Luke 17:7-10.
I’m a list person. Things we need from the store, things I need to accomplish throughout the day, and the week--I make lists for everything. I even have lists where I write down things that need to go on my lists. I get so much satisfaction from crossing that last item off of a list. It’s the feeling of accomplishment. Of being done.
There are some things that don’t go on my lists, though. For example, I never write down be a nurturing mother or be a loving wife or be a good friend. These are things that could never get crossed off, because they aren’t things I need to do. They are things I need to be.
My lists do serve the things that I am. I can remind myself to get healthy finger foods, my husband’s favorite cereal, and a birthday card for a friend at the grocery store. But once I've crossed those items off, it's not like I've done my good deeds for the day, so now I can check out. I still need to be mom, wife, friend.
In these verses, Jesus is talking about a servant who does exactly what is required of him. The Master says this servant is “unprofitable.” Why? What more could he ask of a servant other than for him to do exactly what was asked? A servant's relationship with the Master is a series of tasks. When the tasks are completed the servant is done for the day until more tasks are required.
But Jesus doesn’t just want us to be servants; He wants us to be sons and daughters.
Church, prayer, Bible study, acts of service… all of these things are great things to do. But if our goal is to cross them off of our list so we can feel good about ourselves, and then go do whatever we want, then we are missing the point of what God is calling us to be.
Help me to know what I need to do in order to be what You are calling me to be. And at the end of the day, when everything is crossed off the lists, may my heart be one willing to look to You and ask, ‘Okay, my lord. Let me stay close to You. What would You like to do now?’