Recently two of our grandchildren, age 3, were asked “What do you want to do for a job when you grow up?” The little boy quickly responded, “Be a UPS guy!.” The little girl took her time. At last, with a thoughtful sigh, and looking off into the middle distance, she replied wistfully, “I would really like to help Santa with his presents.”
Ha Ha and yes! Wouldn’t we all? :D
It’s like we came to earth ready to help, as soon as possible. Think of toddlers, begging to help with housework. Tidying desire mileage may eventually vary, but the hope of helping someone, somewhere, sometimes, seems ever to be with us.
Years ago, as a visiting teacher,
(which is now called “ministering”: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/ministering?lang=eng)
our four-year-old son came with me to visit a lady who was struggling. He would pay close attention as I helped this kind older woman, and to my surprise, he would ask about her between visits. Questions like “How is she Mommy?” and “Don’t you think she needs us Mommy?”, and “When can we go back and help her?” were not infrequent.
Since my recent heart surgery, one little 3-year-old grandguy asks me every time I see him, “How’s your heart Nana?” And little grandgirls run around my home in nursing hats, thrilled to “get nursing!” as one of them describes it. Their nursing repertoire consists of implementing toy stethoscopes, shot injectors, thermometers, and the like. Bonus manis and pedis are also included. Children under five, I have noticed, especially love to incorporate up to four rounds of nail polish per foot. These girls fly around me like cheerful, warbling birdies.
We are just happier when we serve others.
Why is this?
I think it’s because we are the children of the king of service, even God our Father. He serves us, full-time. We carry those seeds of service-oriented divinity within us.
I continually want to help too. I love to read to grandchildren and to let them read to me. I love to sing and dance with them, and to be silly with them as often as possible.
Since ten of our eleven grandchildren live within minutes, my husband and I can also help their parents frequently. It brings us so much joy to serve them. They serve us right back.
No wonder God wanted us to have families. There are both challenges and soaring joy in families. Families are our cradles for service development. We learn so much of service in our homes. We can then take that philosophy of service to the wider world.
Sometimes, when I see young people eschewing having children in favor of finding themselves, I gently want to suggest “What about finding some of your own future children?
Then you would find yourself, as you look into their heaven-filled eyes.
Babies are fresh from heaven. They will remind you of who you have always been-heavenly. They will bring more of heaven to your home.
And as you serve one another in your families, you will be more prepared to return to heaven one day-triumphant. You overcame your natural inclinations, that we all have, to be selfish!”
Think twice when the world tells you to think only in terms of the pleasure of “now.”
Think about that line from Star Wars “It’s a Trap!.”
We came to earth primarily to Become something New, something Better. We don’t want, as Stephen R. Covey has said, “to climb the ladder of success, only to find that is leaning against the wrong wall.”
Abundant joy requires investment and faith.
And joy comes ultimately, from an abundance of service, which is best served up with an abundance of people…