EDITOR’S NOTE: Andy Helton serves as vice president of finance at the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home.
As things are slowly getting back to normal, I can’t help but think about the past year and a half. Our normalcy has been turned upside down and inside out and we were forced into a “new normal.” We all had a lot of time to reflect on missing the normal in our life. Some people have had some dark times and others have basked in the warm glow of the sun. I would also guess that some have experienced both sides of the equation during this time. But God has brought us through all of these circumstances.
I’m glad to see that our old normal is coming back into play. As we get to do the things we were accustomed to doing again, I’m reminded that we need to do the things God has called each us to do.
One of my “normals” is serving God in whatever capacity I can. I got my real first taste of serving back in my Boy Scout days. My family had moved to Jackson, Missouri from Eureka when I was in 7th grade. Everything I was used to had been taken away from me – at least in my eyes, it had been. But I wasn’t looking at this from what God was about to do for me. I was focused on the present where God was preparing me for my future.
My Mom encouraged my brother and me to go to our town’s Boy Scout troop meeting. I remember not wanting to go. I didn’t know what to expect, so I had no real reason for not going except for my stubbornness. I reluctantly went to that meeting with the intent to say, “well I tried it and I didn’t like it.” But God had different plans for me. I would say that was a divine appointment. That started me down a path that changed the course of my life. I had found purpose in life and it just felt right.
God used the Boy Scout program to mold me into the person I am today. Scouting taught me about having morals and values and about serving others. God uses many avenues to reach His people. The joy of helping other scouts learn the things that I learned was a stepping stone for me. God was guiding me down the path that He had planned for me even before I was born.
I’ve done a couple of different spiritual gifts inventories and it always comes out the same for me – which I’m grateful for. “Serving/service” has always been my top spiritual gift. I will admit, however, that during the last year and half though it has been a struggle to use this gift like I normally do.
On Wednesday nights, I teach in our church’s “Zone56 class,” (our programming for 5th-6th graders). For a long period, we had postponed our normal Wednesday nights like so many other churches, but we are finally back to regular activities again. During our break, I really discovered how much I missed that time with the kids and church friends. I think about the Sunday school teachers and scout leaders who invested time in me and now I get to keep the investment going.
Sometime we get to see the fruits of our labors and sometimes we don’t. Either way, I know that God has purpose in everything He does. He is the master architect. I’m grateful to be serving again on Wednesday nights, it’s like a midweek reminder from God that I’m where I’m supposed to be.
Serving comes in many forms but I encourage you to look at the talents and gifts God has given you. He doesn’t make mistakes and He has a special purpose for the gifts that you have. Your service may look very different from mine, but your serving is just as important no matter what it is. Serve Him in whatever capacity you can. You don’t have to be out in front of a crowd to do that. Just find something that God is leading you to do – and then trust Him to help you do it.