“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!”…Psalm 122:1 (ESV)
“We’re going to Disney World!” Last Christmas morning, that was the big announcement in the Blount household. In 147 days, to kick off our summer break, we would be spending a few days in what has commonly been called “the happiest place on Earth.” Two weeks ago and four days ago, that countdown ended, and we took our long awaited trip…and it did not disappoint! It was an exhausting week, to be sure, but one filled with so many special surprises and memorable moments for our family. It did these parents’ hearts good to be able to enjoy this unique blessing with our kids.
So much can be said- and has been said- about what Disney does well, but the single thing that struck me more than any other was just how happy those working there seemed to be. Despite the fact that they were working in very crowded conditions, and amidst the oppressive Florida heat and humidity, it was as though they counted it a genuine privilege to serve their guests- millions of them annually- with joy, passion, and excellence. Add to this the staggering reality that it requires upwards of 75,000 cast members to keep the show running every single day, and their ability to build and sustain that kind of culture becomes all the more impressive.
Reflecting on our family’s experience as we returned home, here’s the question that I haven’t been able to shake since-
When was the last time I was as committed to serving God and others in the way that Disney’s cast members were committed to serving me? Specifically, when was the last time I showed up to Fellowship Church on a Sunday (or any other time, for that matter) with the humbling sense that I am even allowed and afforded such a great privilege? When was the last time I approached my calling- which is of eternal weight and significance- with the same level of joy, passion, and excellence displayed by those hosting others on a temporary vacation?
You may have noticed those words- “joy, passion, and excellence”- and connected them to one of our Core Actions at Fellowship- look alive. God’s Word makes clear that we ought to approach Him with such a spirit- “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness!” (Psalm 100:1-2a)- and additionally, that we ought to demonstrate the same attitude in our dealings with one another- “Through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13b). When we do these things in these ways, God’s rightful glory is magnified- and others’ lives have the potential to be impacted for eternity! Here are just a few simple, practical ways that you can look alive this week as you show up at Fellowship…
- Pray before you arrive that God would prepare your heart to truly worship Him as He deserves and desires.
- Participate fully and passionately in every opportunity afforded you- singing, praying, giving, hearing God’s Word, and responding to it.
- Serve with a smile- whether that be in an “official” role on one of our Serve Teams, or simply as one actively searching out opportunities to meet needs in the lives of others.
- Go above and beyond (there’s another one of those pesky Core Actions!) whenever, wherever, and however you can. Don’t just look to do the “bare minimum” for others- give them your best, in whatever unique situation you find yourself.
- Introduce yourself to someone you haven’t met before- and take the time to really take an interest in who they are and what they’re all about. Don’t be hurried- look them in the eye, listen to their story, and ask God how you can best love them.
- Look for reasons to be grateful instead of reasons to be critical.
- Walk away asking God with an open heart, open mind, and open eyes and ears for how you can carry such a spirit into the remainder of your week at home, work, and wherever else you go.
There’s no question for our family- We left Disney bought in to the hype; it met and exceeded our expectations with very few exceptions. I look forward to the next time I can visit. And why is that true? Because of the people who made it happen. Next time someone shows up at Fellowship Church- or in your life Monday through Saturday as a follower of Jesus and a member of FC- will they be able to say the same thing? Friends, we have much more to offer the world than just a great week of vacation memories. Let’s look alive this and every week so that our great God might be glorified and our world might know and experience real life in Him!