During my week at Camp Barnabas on the Lake, I found when I was faced with my own desires I almost instantly found myself redirecting towards others’ needs. Even in my free time I was thinking about what I could do to support the CIAs (Christian In Action, the teens and adults who were one-on-one with the campers), or trying to find enough service to post to our church’s Facebook or Twitter to update the church body and parents about how our trip was going.
Why can’t I do this at home? Why can’t I do this in my church body?
America has a prevalent, “Take care of #1” mentality that comes before all other concerns. I am afraid I am guilty of it. Rather than ask for help or care, I feel like it's best to just take care of myself first. However, I believe I am called to something more. A life lived sacrificially. As I was thrown into a life lived fully for others for a full five days, I discovered something.
Living life sacrificially takes buckets of trust.
You have to trust your needs will be cared for as you put others’ needs ahead of your own. You have to trust that you will be filled as you pour yourself out for those around you. You have to trust you will find rest in the midst of the busy life of looking and serving and caring. You have to trust God's strength to keep you moving. You have to trust God’s greater plan. #thelastshallbefirst But I discovered something else.
Sacrificial living is beautiful.
It's helping a busy mom with her groceries; it's asking the clerk at the store how their day is going and actually hearing their response. It's writing a note of encouragement for your neighbor, or offering to walk someone's dog. It's taking the kids for a friend so she can get some things done. It's engaging in conversation with your seat mate on the bus or train, recognizing the humanity that is around you. Start small. Sacrifice a little comfort and say hello to the stranger in line behind you. Look them in the eye and smile. It's a beautiful thing.