Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Bevism #1 There Are No Free Services
A Ode to Beverly, My Mom
“For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.” Ephesians 6:3-5
Wednesday’s blogs have been dedicated to my mother and her various ways of revealing great truths to live by. Today I use a simple one I hear almost daily, “There are no free services.” It took me a long time to understand her concept of “free services”. Especially since every day I see people rendering services seemingly for free. In a world of hookups, bootlegging and bailouts, free is who you know, how well you know what they know, and what you are willing to do to get what they have. However, I now view her colloquialism from a doctrinal perspective. For her, there are no free services.
She has a firm belief in paying for what she gets, working for what she has and encouraging others the integrity of doing so. Giving a gift is not a free service, it is a gift. Community service is not a free service; it is a pro bono act of kindness toward society. Wherever we went as kids, she was determined we would not have an expectation of being handed anything, and if given something, we were to be gracious. She was strict on fundraising in school, often comparing it to borderline pan-handling. Mom wanted our anticipation of “extra” to be in God, our work ethic and the overflow that comes from knowing you have contributed to your own wellbeing. How many times have I been told, “You don’t get extra credit for stuff you are suppose to do. Do something extraordinary and I will be the one to let you know just how extra-ordinary it is.”
I never really saw it as a matter of pride, because we were never too puffed up to ask for help. “Just remember, no one owes you,” she said. If you don’t get what you asked for, don’t be mad. Rejoice in your own work and bear your own load. To this day, her nieces, nephews, coworkers, friends- really all that have been blessed by her insist on giving of their talent to her for free. Short of them boxing it, shipping it directly with no return address and denying her phone calls, will she accept it. What a determination to demonstrate love with the same measure demonstrated toward you.
There is not one time I pass a group of young football players, boy scouts, or band members in the middle of the road that I don’t think of her pan-handling analogy. We have not because we ask not, but I understand we have less, because we work not.
My prayer for all of us today is that this scripture and my mother’s mantra remind us that many disappointments can often begin and end in our hearts and our intent. Oh how God rejoices when His people have a mind to work…and how pressed down shaken together and running over are the rewards!