At their church in Mexico, a friend put Abraham and Mario in touch with the leaders at L’Arcada Christian Camp and they arrived in Barcelona the same day Karlyn and I did. Both in their twenties, these guys came with a willingness to serve.
No matter how small the task, it seemed either Abraham or Mario would be the first to volunteer. They were always available. On Sunday, the last full day Karlyn and I were at camp, Abraham led worship and Mario assisted. I then realized how talented they were and began wondering what is more important: ‘talent’ or ‘surrender’?
Our world exalts talent; God exalts humility. (see James 4:10) God is the one who gives us our talents and He wants us to use them, but I think we have to determine to be humble. We’ll all be surprised in heaven as God honors His hidden saints who simply lived surrendered lives on earth with this understanding: “You have saved me, Lord, I am Yours. I am willing to go wherever You call me. Whatever you want me to do, however you want me to serve… I just want to honor You.”
In the Catalonia region of Spain, the people love our nation. American sports, American history, and American culture are very popular. A couple of weeks each summer, L’Arcada holds Native American Camp. The lodging facilities for all campers and counselors are huge teepees that hold ten beds. Each teepee is named for a different Native American tribe. During the week of camp, many things are taught about nature, our Creator, and care for our world. The campers love it.
A Native American believer from the United States always comes to help lead these sessions, but this summer pandemic difficulties complicated plans. Shortly after Karlyn and I returned home, it was no surprise to learn that Mario volunteered to be the chief for a week.
Perhaps, Jesus was the fastest kid in Nazareth. Some have proposed He was a gifted carpenter. Maybe He was a dynamic speaker… people sure listened to Him. But I would propose the Father was most proud of His Son for these two things: His meekness and His obedience. “I always do what pleases Him,” Jesus said. (John 8:29) What if we shifted our focus from ‘trying to be the best’ to ‘simply being available’?
Of course we should strive to be excellent in all we do, but what if I spend all my money developing my craft and have nothing left to help the person need? Or what if I am so busy becoming the very best in my field that I am never available to serve the least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters? What if I glorify God most when I simply present ‘myself’ to Him with no constraints?
Jesus wants us to adopt His own surrendered mindset: “Father, I am Yours. I am willing to do anything You tell Me; My life is not My own. I place Myself in Your perfect, wise, and loving hands.”
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings You were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about Me in the scroll — I have come to do Your will, O God.’” Hebrews 10:5-7