In our ward where we live right now we have a large student population. There is a separate singles ward, so we get most of the young married folks. Many of them move into our ward and are only here for 2-5 years. The transient nature of half of our ward brings its own challenges and blessings.
At the top of this list is service. About twice a year we get dozens and dozens of moves within weeks of each other. Many of the students live close to each other in married student housing so they form a strong community that helps and lifts each other. We too, used to live in that small village when I was a graduate student and often would look out our window and see someone moving in or out. I would grab my oldest son, who was 4-5 at the time and go outside to see how we could help. It didn’t matter if they were members of the church, if I knew them from school, or if they were complete strangers. It was always an amazing opportunity to serve.
We have since moved out of the small knit community and at times we miss the companionship that existed there, but as often as time allows I still throw my dollies in the truck, grab the kids, and go and help during the annual moving season.
This past week we had one of what is sure to be many upcoming opportunities. I took my two oldest along and was amazed as we worked to watch them. In years past I took them, not because they were very helpful, but because they wanted to go. We gave them token jobs, but nothing too much. But now, at almost 8 and 6 years old, they were actually working hard!
As we finished and were driving home I asked the kids what they thought of the night. They both expressed how tired they were (a good sign of their efforts!), but I also noticed that they were both beaming. They were so proud of the work they had done, and I was as well. It was clear to me that they were also feeling the Spirit. You know the way kids act when they feel the Spirit. It is the innocent and loving “Yes, Daddy” and “Sure, Dad” and unprovoked “I love you Dad”.. the moments we all live for. They were experiencing the real and tangible blessings that come into our lives from hard labor and service. As I pondered I realized that I had also learned the value of service from countless moves with my father as a child and now I had the opportunity to pass on that to my children.
How grateful I am for a father and mother that taught me the value of service in every day life. We all have countless opportunities to serve those around us. As we take those opportunities, we are serving the Lord and he blesses us with his Spirit! Take a look around you today and find someone that needs your unprovoked help and see what blessings the Lord has in store for you!