Thursday, February 21, 2008

Redefine Service

I'm a secretary in the Student Leadership Office. It's an awesome job. A lot of people think my office is just the BYUSA office, which is the closest thing we have to a student government on campus. BYUSA just started this new promotion called "Redefine Service". They're going all out with this one (as opposed to everything else) (that was intended to be sarcastic. They go all out on everything); they're giving out buttons, they're having volunteers give presentations in class about it...they even made a commercial! But that's not the point. The point it, I really, really like this program.

The premise behind "Redefine Service" comes from something President Monson said at a devotional, "To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves". Everyone to find opportunities to serve those around them every day. The commercial shows students and teachers employing this idea; one girl goes to talk to someone sitting alone in class; someone helps a guy who dropped a big stack of books; a teacher gives a word of encouragement to a struggling student. We hardly have to go out of our way at all to serve others and in doing so, we can become more Christ-like. We can serve just by being nice to the people around us.

Sometimes it seems that everyone on campus is caught up in their own little worlds. Everyone is just hurrying to class with their heads down, not paying attention to anything. Not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing. Heck, I'm willing to bet I just described myself to a T! (Side note: where did that expression come from and what does it mean?) But I know I, for one, could do a lot better to be a nicer person. Instead of rushing to class like I'm the most important person in the world, I can take the time to smile at people passing me. I can hold open the door for the person behind me. I can help someone struggling with a heavy load. I'm willing to bet that none of these things would inconvenience me in any way, shape, or form. And even if they do, so what? At least I was able to help someone: the benefits far out way the cost.

My New Testament teacher last semester challenged us to develop Christ-like love. He said that in order to love others as Christ does, we have to love. We have to love everyone. That means our classmates that share their life story as an answer to any question. That means our roommates who eat all our food. That means our boyfriends who break our hearts. That means the stranger who bumps into us walking down the street. Everyone.

(A note to my readers - all two of you. Maybe three now...: the above examples are not referring to anyone specifically. They are all completely general cases that could apply to anyone. Thank you.)

This teacher told us to say in our minds to everyone we see, "I love you", and to mean it. It takes a ton of effort and it's truly exhausting, but it's well worth it. I imagine you'd eventually get used to doing that and you could develop a genuine care and concern for everyone around you. Then, I think, you'd be on your way to being more Christ-like. Again, the benefits far out way the cost.

So I'm going to try this. I'm going to try and seek out ways to serve other people daily. I'm going to try and love everyone around me. I'm going to try and just be a better person. Even if there's someone who bugs me, I can and should be a nicer person towards them. Who am I to judge? I am far from without sin, so I should not be casting any stones.


Paul Epperson said...

I love this post. You should make more like them. Like right now. Why wait?

Fifield said...

Speaking of Christlike love, did I tell you that a complete stranger walked up to Ben and I after church on Sunday, thanked us for our testimonies, and handed us something he said he felt the Spirit tell him to give us? It was $100. We were fasting that day about our financial situation and Ben all but losing his job. Talk about Christlike love.

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