I serve with one of the 2-yr-old classes once a month (or more as needed) during the second hour at church. Basically, this means the kids have already heard the Bible story, done a craft, and had “scheduled” time. As the 2’s get older, we eventually take them to a larger group during this hour to sing songs and hear stories with the other preschoolers, but for now, we just watch a video, give plenty of hugs, play, and love on the kids.
And I adore every minute of it!
A few weeks ago we had five kids, and one of the little guys was a new visitor (let’s call him “A”). He didn’t appear to speak much English, and he seemed to prefer playing by himself, so we let him do his own thing for the majority of the time.
Towards the end of the hour, one of the other little boys (we’ll call him “T”) really wanted A to come play, so he called to him. But A didn’t answer. At the encouragement of the other teacher and myself, T went across the room and said in the sweetest not-yet-quite-clear voice of a young preschooler, “A, come play with us!”
A just smiled and looked away, but T was persistent. He then said, “I WANT you to play posy with us; it’s fun!”
[Side note: yes, on this given Sunday, we were definitely keeping them occupied with ring-around-the-rosie, red light/green light, and other highly theologically correct games…ha!]
Because T was giving it such a valiant effort, the other teacher called for A and encouraged him to come over and play as T had requested. T vigorously nodded his head in response and had such an inviting persona about him, but A just kept smiling and never did come to the circle with the others.
That didn’t deter T, though. He just came back to the circle and continued playing. It was as if he had done his part, and he was okay with the outcome.
As I was watching this exchange, the Holy Spirit promptly and clearly reminded me that often, it’s much less about the immediate results of what I’m doing to serve the Lord and much more about the obedience of doing it.
This principle is especially true in our outreach efforts to share the love and message of Jesus Christ with others. Consider Paul’s message regarding Israel’s barrier to understanding the truth of Christ in Romans 10:14-16:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? … But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.” (New International Version – emphasis added)
Go read the surrounding text of these verses. Powerful stuff!!
After stating that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” in v. 13, which seems to indicate an individual acceptance of the message, Paul’s exhortation to preach the message is no less emphatic. Regardless of the outcome.
But this principle also applies to obediently following God’s call on our life or His leading in almost any area. Of Abraham, Hebrews 11:8 says:
“…when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, [Abraham] obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (New International Version – emphasis added)
Abraham wasn’t caught up with the immediate result of leaving his home; he simply “obeyed and went.” Regardless of the final [unknown] destination.
So yeah, I was utterly convicted and completely humbled by 2-yr-olds. To serve where God leads, obediently and promptly, with my all, regardless of the outcome.
But that’s SO God, isn’t it?