Friday, April 3, 2009

Servanthood: Role vs. Identity


No more my God, I boast no more
Of all the duties I have done.
I quit the hopes I held before,
To trust the merits of Thy Son.
-"I Boast No More" by Caedmon's Call

Since I've been back from Morocco I have been supremely frustrated with all of the tasks that have to be accomplished that seem mundane/silly/useless. Sending out fliers to industry contacts about my latest show hardly seems as important as putting a roof on a clinic for a children's orphanage.

And so with this, I'm starting to realize that my perspective on service is really out of whack. My thoughts about service have been very much about what the world considers "worthy" service or "God's" service.

But something about seeing couples dedicate 20 years of their lives to move to the middle of nowhere and raise children that they could not adopt has, ironically, inspired me to be more invested in the industry that I am in. If I am in the arts in NYC right now for "a time and place such as this", then I should be doing it. I should be committed to that for the service of the Lord. Why does helping with Navigators (a Christian organization) feel like more Godly service than acting? Because the reward is more affirming to my ego. Ouch.

Peter (our team leader in Morocco) had us read the story about Jesus washing the disciples feet and then he asked us to consider:
*When is being a servant a role you put on for a while? And when is it your identity?
And then he pointed out this which, I will warn you, is painful:
"Most of the time we are frustrated/annoyed/vexed by a situation because we walked into it not to serve but to be served."

So how much less frustrated would I be if I walked into every situation just to serve? But who has the energy to serve all the time?! (Besides random crazy parents who committ twenty years of their lives to raise children in Morocco?)
I remember that because we were constantly serving and giving in Morocco in such physically exhausting ways, I constantly had to take time outs to go refill with the Lord. The amount of reliance on God when I was there was so much more than what I do here.

But why is that? If I can only serve for the Lord when I am being filled by the Lord, what makes me think that I can have an attitude of service in New York City without pressing into Him every moment of every day?
Probably arrogance.
Or foolishness.
Or an attitude that doesn't treat every assignment I get as something that must be done for my Lord.
An attitude that makes "being a servant a role I put on" instead of an identity.

Time for a change.
I'm sure it will be slow in coming.

1 comment:

A. E. De Wolf said...

I think you also have to realize you are constantly being filled with God. He is your identity. If you separate him and you then your missing the point of new life in him. Its a weird dichotomy of taking ownership of your life but in a life that is completely for God's glory. I'm still trying to figure it all out too.