I do not think of myself as being addicted to service.
I learned a long time ago that my physical strength doesn't hold if I fill my days with volunteerism and scheduled activities. In fact, my lack of active service in support of our small community contributes to my ongoing battle against a sense of inadequacy.
However, I am very committed to service to my loved ones; I am determined to give them my first and best strength. My assigned role as caregiver for my mother has been an ongoing fact of my life for the past 15 years. Furthermore, I am grandmother of four, and in part because of fear that my children or grandchildren may have to someday provide care to me as I have to my own mother, I feel self-assigned pressure to support them now in any way that I am able.
During my devotion time this morning I felt a call to a fast from service. My response was a classic, "Huh?" This just didn't compute for me.
The explanation seems to be that this sort of fast is needed because my sense of commitment and duty to human beings has taken priority over my focus upon and expression of love for God.
When will I ever learn that sitting at Jesus' feet is the better portion? Mary has chosen the better portion, and it will not be taken from her...(Luke 10:42).
I took a deep breath. I felt drawn to step outside, and I wandered around my yard. Birdsong soothed, cottonwood fluff drifted past my face, but before I had entered fully into the peace of God's presence, my mind wandered to my "things to do" list. I began to feel lonely for human companionship, and decided to invite my grandsons to come to my house for the noon meal. In response to this thought, I heard the Lord say, "Share with them the love you’ve found, but do not make them the source of your need for love."
I realized that much of my self-appointed service comes from my failure to spend focused time in what my mother used to call "soak" before the Lord. I haven't spent enough time with Him to receive the needed reassurance of His love and unfailing presence. This realignment to the truth of God's great love for us is a necessary daily discipline. It's the old adage that we can't fill others unless we are filled ourselves
So I'm fasting today from visiting my mother at the nursing home or preparing superfluous meals for my grandkids (their mom already had their lunch prepared). I'm sitting at Jesus' feet. It's a sweet place to be; blessed be His Name.