by Erin Bird

Have you ever considered the existence of the electrical outlet before? There he is, stuck in a perpetual wall-sit as if being punished for some unspeakable crime. And perhaps he did commit a crime, because he has a bad temper. Turns out if you poke his eyes with scissors, he gets very angry, spitting electrical sparks at you. (Not that I would know from 6th grade study hall or anything…).

Dressed in only a modest cover, there he sits, all alone against the wall. But to leave him alone renders him completely useless.  Mr. Wall Socket was not created simply to be. (He makes a rather uninspiring wall decoration.) His purpose in life is to provide electricity for some man-made contraption. In other words, he exists to serve something (or someone) else.

Guess what? You are an electrical outlet. Whether you realize it or not, you were made to live for more than just you. You were not designed to remain alone, or just be another pretty face among the crowd. You were put on earth to interact with some God-made contraptions called humans.

Years ago, when I was ministering as the Young Adult Pastor at a church in Cedar Rapids, I remember reading the spiritual journey of one of the young adults in my church family. She shared a very clear story of how she found Jesus and how God had used pivotal moments in her life to shape her more into the image of Jesus.

But what struck me most in her writing was this quote:

“Up to this point [in my life], I’ve really been focused on growing myself spiritually. But now, I think I need to start focusing on what I can give to others.”

She was right. We can so often get focused on our own lives, including our own spiritual growth, that we forget that a big part of following Jesus is serving others like Jesus served others. After all, if we are going to live like Jesus lived, then we should emulate his mission statement:

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Mark 10:45)

To put it another way, we aren’t to just sit on the wall. Instead, we should “plug in” and serve others. Here are two places you can “plug in”:

#1. Serve the Riverwood Family

Many of those within the Riverwood family are already serving one another. It’s so fun watching them greet at the door, or serve the kids in Kids Creek, or help clean-up after the Worship Gathering. But if you are part of Riverwood aren’t actively serving our church family, why not give it a try? We won’t arm twist you into doing something, but we’d love for you to take the gifts and energies God has placed in you and plug them into the life of Riverwood. Simply contact us about an area you’d love to help with (even if you think it’s an area that’s already “covered”) and we’ll do what we can to help you give some of your time and skills to making Riverwood an even better church family.

#2. Serve Where You’re At

Just like an electrician put the electrical outlet in a certain spot on the wall, God has put you in a certain spot. So how can you serve those in your neighborhood, or in your class, or in your job, or at the gym, or at the coffeeshop you go to three times per week? Find ways to give life and energy to those around you by serving them through the love God has shown you through the cross.

To sum this all up: Don’t just sit there; connect with those around you by serving them. You just might find the results a bit electrifying to your spiritual life!