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True Service This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     "Having pressed the grapes of service, we drink life's sweetest wine - the wine of giving." - Max Lucado



My mother looked at me with tears in her eyes. "They didn't even say your name."

I shrugged, but could not say anything. After being committed to my high school's field hockey team for four years, it was time to be rewarded for my service. At the annual dinner, the coaches proudly named the 12 seniors and handed out gifts. I sat and watched them stand beside the coaches, having their picture taken. The shot included every senior - except me.

At first I was upset I had been forgotten. I had gone beyond the requirements of manager and become part of the team. The coaches considered me an assistant, the players saw me as the "go-to girl." I had done everything in my power to support them throughout the years. It was my right to be recognized, or so I thought.

Not wanting to make a scene, I sat quietly. On the way home, I convinced my family that it did not matter if I had been forgotten; the coaches had a lot on their minds and I didn't want to add to their worries. Once home, though, I went to my room and knelt in prayer.

"I don't understand, Lord," I began. "I've been faithful. I've tried to serve, even when I didn't feel like it. What happened?" The only answer I received was a question: What is the true meaning of service? During the next few days I tried to find an answer.

True service has no expectations. It does not consider the benefits that might come as a result. True service seeks to honor God by loving completely and honestly, without anticipation of reward. Until that time, I had looked at my job as field hockey manager as a way to help others and enjoy myself. It was never about what I might gain volunteering my time, it was about serving others.

When I read the above quote by Max Lucado, I thought about my time as manager. The purest gift is unacknowledged service. It proves that our hearts are humble and that we are volunteering for the right reasons. After laboring, I was able to present my service as a love offering to God and others. I found joy in the fact that I had given a gift no money could buy, a gift of service that came straight from the heart.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Sar232 said...
Mar. 1, 2009 at 12:43 am
Wow, that was wonderful. The best gift you can give to a person is sevice.
 
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