Saturday, January 12, 2008

Unplanned, Simple Service

Mormon Matters has an interesting article on the affect that the Preach My Gospel system will have on future church leadership. The article linked to one sentence in the manual on page 167. Second on the list of ways to find people to teach is "Look for opportunities to offer simple service."

I couldn't agree more. I served the first part of my mission in a very poor country. My trainer was a good missionary and a very hard worker. I remember learning to speed-walk/run to keep up with him as we went from appointment to appointment, most of them dogged (read: the person didn't show up, for those not familiar with the missionary lingo).

One day we were walking up a hill on a cobblestone street. The road was busy but I noticed an old man pulling a cart behind him. As fast as we were going, the man seamed to be standing still. His face seamed lifeless. He was probably headed to the marketplace to sell whatever was in his cart. The thought came to my mind, "Perhaps we should stop to help him pull his cart up the hill." But then I thought of the appointment we were headed to and how my trainer was already a few paces ahead of me. So as quickly as the man had entered my mind, he was left in our dust.

But the man never left my mind. I don't remember what happened in the appointment, but I'll never forget the man we could have helped and didn't. I don't remember him out of guilt, but rather out of a desire to remember to not be so busy that I forget the simple acts of service that are available to me every day.


Dan and Wendy said...

Great post. I remember once waking past a homeless person with his cup out. I was in a rush to get somewhere, and so I told myself that on my way back I would give him some spare change. When I came back, he wasn't there. Sometimes I'm too busy with what is going on in my life that I neglect the things that really matter, in favor the things that really don't.

Stephen said...

Well said.