Servant or Soldier –
In worship this morning the phrase servant not soldier was used when describing those who follow the Master, Jesus. These words have stuck with me all day. Too often I hear colloquialisms; “fighting the good fight or fight for your personal rights, soldiers for in God’s army, fighting for those who cannot fend for themselves, fighting for your political party, fighting for (sometimes with) your family, fighting sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, fighting for equality. The list could go on but I noticed there aren’t too many servant phraseologies we use.
I think we are more comfortable with the idea of fighting, exerting power, pushing back against something we feel is invading our worlds. Fighting comes from a place of strength. Being a servant make us more uneasy. We don’t like the possibility of being taken advantage, of someone being over us, of putting down our fists instead of raising them. We live in a time where standing up for what we believe in seems the correct and just path. I wonder where/if there is a balance between soldiering and serving? Is there a side which needs choosing, we should choose?
This morning I participated in a meeting where all the members present had chosen to be there, to work together for the good of others. There were law enforcement officials, mental health advocates, spiritual leaders and more. Each brought special gifts, talents, expertise and experience. At our someone said these words; “There’s no competition here, no ‘mine’ or ‘yours’. This is about them and what we can do for them.” All nodded in agreement. It was a blessing to be amongst people who genuinely cared about others.
Later, I had a discussion with someone who did a lot complaining about the aggravating folks in his life. “They’re always getting on my nerves, telling me what to do and what not to do. They won’t leave me alone. Why can’t they just let me do what I want. As long as I’m okay with it, what’s the harm?”
Two conversations, two different approaches to life. One says: “It’s all about me getting what I want .” The other; “It’s about them getting what they need.”