“What can I do?”
“Can I stir that for you?”
My kids swarm around me as I do my daily domestic dance. I glance at the clock and quickly calculate that supper needs to be done sooner than later.
“Please set the table,” I answer both of my girls.
“No, I meant, what can I do in here. I want to help,” says the oldest.
I reiterate, “It would really help if you set the table, honey.”
As I say this my younger daughter again asks, “Can I stir that, Mama? Please?”
Gently I ask her also to assist in the dining room, not the kitchen.
“I don’t want to do that.”
“Well,” I sigh, tired of my own repetition, “that’s what would help Mommy.”
My princesses suddenly leave me alone in the kitchen. I hear them in the hall putting on shoes and a moment later the sliding door to the backyard opens and shuts.
Another sigh slips out as I glance from the kitchen to the bare dining room table.
The next morning I sit poised with coffee, Bible, devotional, pen and journal. I praise, confess, and feel a familiar stirring for something more.
I write a sophisticated prayer in my journal when suddenly I realize what I’ve asked: God, what can I do? Can I stir that for You?
The day ahead comes to mind: taking kids to school, teaching, meals, cleaning, laundry.
No, I meant, what can I do of importance, God?
The list of mundane tasks crowd into my thoughts. Frustrated, I start to push them away until …
Ahh, You want me to ‘set the table.’ It’s not what I want to do, but it’s what You’re asking. Forgive me, Lord.
No great ministry—or rather, there is no greater ministry—than daily responding in love to whatever He calls me too.
As I go about my day, I feel a shift. Acceptance of the day’s activity brings me peace. I listen to and laugh with my daughters. I drive kids, dust furniture and dice chicken with ease instead of irritation.
Contentment! Who knew such joy existed in simply setting the table?
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” —Matthew 20:25-28