Look for Opportunities, not Excuses

Nell and Lairy Easterling are 93 years old. They are founding members of our church. For more than 50 years, they’ve served faithfully, given generously, and modeled the faith life to our congregation. 

Nell’s also a really good cook. 

As I sat across from her at a recent pot luck dinner, I asked for the recipe for the dish she’d brought. As with most good cooks, she could recite it from memory. 

But halfway through, somewhere between the cottage cheese and the Mandarin oranges, she stopped. Catching her husband’s eye, she tapped the tablecloth in front of her. 

“Honey, let’s take these home and wash them,” she said. He nodded. “We can’t do much anymore, but we can do that.” 

I wrote down the rest of the recipe, but came away from the conversation with much more than instructions for a new dish. Without realizing it, Mrs. Nell had shared a life lesson with me. 

I told my husband about it on the way home. “If I was 93 years old, could barely walk, and had been serving in the church for three-quarters of a century, I think I’d probably say, ‘I’m old. I’ve done my time. Let someone else do it.’"

"Instead she looks around and says, ‘I wonder what I can do to help?’” 

Mrs. Nell is living out 1 Samuel 12:24: "But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart."  

Her example challenges me to serve God with the abilities and resources he’s given me. To jump in wherever I see a need instead of waiting to be asked. To look for opportunities, instead of excuses. 

As we begin the new year, will you join me in pledging to serve God whenever he gives us the chance and the ability? If every church member served this way, imagine what God could do. 

Now it's your turn. Has there been someone in your life who has modeled biblical servanthood? I'd love to hear about them. Leave a comment in the box below and share your story.

Happy New Year!

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  1. Lori, we have a precious couple in our church in their eighties and they have been on mission trips to foreign lands and most recently on one to Tennessee this summer. They are an inspiration to all of us and so filled with the love of God it is a pleasure to listen to them talk. This was a great inspirational post with reminders to always look for places we can serve.

    1. Wow, what a great example of serving God from birth to "Well done." You are blessed to know these senior saints, Barbara.


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