Romans 12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord
Be strong, serve. It seems a rather redundant reading considering the fact that we are on this trip with that sole purpose in mind. But I find myself thinking about this notion as we wrap up our last day of turtle tank cleaning. This has been by no means my favorite task since we set out in July last year. I have not been particularly fond of getting covered in green algal goo, turtle excrement, and leftover frozen fish bits. But as we conclude our service time here in Sri Lanka I am also acutely aware of how fun I truly have had. I will carry with me the memory of a sea turtle who in only a few days has recognized me and my family and will surface in order that she might get her daily dose of shell scratches. I will always remember the feeling of turtle hatchlings wrapping their tiny flippers around my fingers as I picked them up out of their temporary home to set them free on an sandy beach as they headed out into the world. I will never forget my hope that each and every one would defy nature and grow old and come back again to make new nests. As I scrub away at the algal growth and try to avert my senses from the overpowering waft of turtle, sea, and fish, I am reminded of that zeal.
It is hard to serve to be sure but it is harder I think to sit by and do nothing. When you see a need and do nothing I think you realize that you have missed an opportunity and your heart aches to get that chance back. Deep down I wonder if that is why so many people are disheartened, depressed, or feel so much less worth than they deserve. The solution is not a life changing hiatus from work and a year abroad, though that has done me a world of good. It is simply recognizing that the opportunity to serve is always there and that working in the service of God is the most fulfilling task you can do. The worries of tomorrow are for tomorrow; for today, put your faith, your love, and your work in the hands of the Lord.