Today is the International Day for Volunteers at the United Nations, and I decided to write a little about my experiences serving as a volunteer. What is a volunteer? According to Webster’s Dictionary it means to offer, give, or bestow.
Well from my experience I have been a volunteer as long as I can remember. Even my days as a kid, my mother was always signing me up to help at community projects and church functions in any way I could possibly serve. As I grew to adulthood I never lost that willingness to help others. Currently I have even chosen to drop the life I had back in Minnesota to serve with the Young Adult Volunteer Program through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I have moved to both New Orleans and New York City to help others in ways I could never have imagined.
From being a professional volunteer for the last 18 months you would expect me to know everything about it, but this is where I struggle to find the words. What does volunteering mean to me? Well for me its means giving or helping others for the better good of the world. Giving is a very important part, it’s a selfless act. Volunteering teaches us about mercy, empathy, and even grace. It even teaches us how to look for the needs of others and put those needs above ours. Serving others has played such a major role in my life, and has shaped me to be the person I am today.
What you do to serve as a volunteer is not the only part, I feel that what you receive from volunteering may be more import than we realize. From experiences I have come to the conclusion that the work I do volunteering is more life giving than any job I have ever had. I believe that is why I continue to serve. I receive joy from helping others, the opportunity to have a new experience, or learn new things, and even meet new people.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life for ransom for many.
Volunteering is so important in our society and especially in our world today. We forget that we can’t do everything by ourselves and its okay to get help from others. It’s good to let our guard down and be vulnerable. We need to be willing to help or let others help us too. I believe that there will always be a need in the world for volunteers, so no matter how young or old you are you should always go out and volunteer.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.