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A Privilege to Serve
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By Dan Martella
 
Many years ago my family and I lived in a neighborhood where 99% of the people belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We loved our Mormon neighbors and they loved us.

One day a young professional family moved into the new house just a few doors down. Alec* was an anesthesiologist at the hospital, Chandra was a stay-at-home mom, and baby Erin rounded out the family. As we got to know our new neighbors, we quickly learned that Alec had grown up in an Adventist setting. His Aunt Mavis had faithfully taken Alec and his five siblings to church each Sabbath – in her Volkswagon bug. Then when he got into his college years, he decided to become a Mormon. As Alec told me his story, I made up my mind that I was going to live my Adventist faith with him in the most positive, winsome way possible.

A few months later Alec dropped by one Sunday afternoon for an easy, neighborly conversation. As we talked, the phone rang and my teenage daughter picked it up. “Dad,” she called out, “Sarah wants to talk to you.” Inside I groaned – Sarah was one of my high maintenance members. All the way to the kitchen phone I groused and grizzled, “I never get a break. Those church members think I’m on call 24/7. They can’t do anything for themselves.” I got on the phone with Sarah, took care of her needs, and then groused and grizzled all the way back to my guest who was waiting in the living room.

“Dan,” Alec said as he looked me square in the eye. “There is something I always want you to remember: It is a privilege to serve!
Ouch! The guy had me. And I have never forgotten the lesson. While I believe in boundaries, quality time with my family, and quiet time for personal renewal – It is always a privilege to serve!

*Names have been changed