I had a weird dream the other night. I’m not sure if you all know, but my husband and I spent five years with our family serving in Kenya at a huge missionary school called Rift Valley Academy. Well, I dreamt that we had returned there to serve again. After we arrived, I met with the school superintendent (director), and he told me that he needed me to serve hot dogs that Friday evening at a student event. I looked at him and said, “You do realize that I have a doctorate in Education, don’t you?” I was thinking that I hadn’t come all the way to Kenya to serve hot dogs. His reply was, “I know that. But I already have people in the administrative positions. What I need is for someone to serve hot dogs Friday night.” Completely humbled, I replied, “Then I will serve hot dogs. Please let me know what else you need me to do, and I will do it.”
Right after I had this dream I stumbled upon the story of a monk named Brother Lawrence in a website sponsored by Christianity Today. In the article it told of his life during the 1600s in France. At the monastery, Brother Lawrence’s job was to cook and clean. The article said that “for Brother Lawrence, ‘common business,’ no matter how mundane or routine, was the medium of God’s love. The issue was not the sacredness or worldly status of the task but the motivation behind it.” Brother Lawrence is quoted as saying, “Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do. . . We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.”
This year our theme has been “Godly Ambition: Glorify God. Serve Others.” What we have tried to emphasize with our students is that we are to use our gifts and talents to bring honor to God and to be of service to others. In other words, “It’s not about me!” Brother Lawrence died at the age of 80 “in relative obscurity and pain and perfect joy.” Do we have the attitude that we are here to serve? Do we have peace with God has called us to do? I pray that the recounting of my dream and this brief story of Brother Lawrence will help you to reflect on these questions. “It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God.” I have this quote hanging over my desk so that each day I will be reminded that if I am needed to serve hot dogs, then I will serve hot dogs — with joy and peace, knowing that I serve a loving God.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.