Monday, July 28, 2008

Savior vs. Servant

It’s 9:07 AM as I write this, and I am so tired. I feel like I am not sleeping at all when I wake up in the mornings here. Maybe it’s the bed. Maybe I just don’t get rest on that bed. I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just a horrible morning person (I think we figured it out…) Either way, I’m near ready to pass out as I type this, but we have a meeting that was supposed to start 10 minutes ago, and since it hasn’t, I figure I will update you all. If our leader doesn’t get here in the next 10 minutes though, I’m taking out one of the floor mats and going back to bed.

So, it’s been a really weird time here in Brazil. So far I’ve seen 3 Tarantulas, 1 Iguana, and heard tons of monkeys but seen none. Bummer. It’s also been a time to read a lot and self reflect on some things. I feel like I am not doing anything worthwhile down here, but then again, I may simply be overlooking it.

*break for prayer*

So anyways, so Brazil has been very weird and I feel like we’re not really doing anything. A question comes out of that feeling though that makes me wonder what I’m overlooking. I mean, I gave up so much just to get here, there’s got to be more than I’m seeing right? By just being down here alone and being available to these people, am I not in a state of servanthood? Why do I feel that simply being here to serve isn’t enough? Do I have a savior mentality?

Oh man, I hope not. I should know better.

A savior mentality is the mindset that a lot of groups have when going elsewhere to help. They go to these places thinking, “I’m going to do this and that and help these people.” That’s not really the attitude to have though when getting into situations such as these because the situations are not about us. We’re going there for them which means we’re leaving ourselves behind and putting them first. They are why we came, therefore they are what’s important. The new mentality needs to be the servant mentality, which is, “What do you need?” and then acting upon those needs and helping them achieve the things they are trying to achieve.

Sometimes though, I don’t even feel like I’m being a servant. I feel like there’s more I could be doing. Maybe it’s arrogance or conceit. Maybe I feel like, “I can do this and I can do that, so why not do this and that?” and meanwhile they may just need me to do the dishes and play with the kids. I can do those things too. I have done those things, but it’s not enough. I can do more.

I think I really need to learn how to just be available to serve. Maybe that’s something that I’m supposed to learn while I’m here, is how to actually serve and that, you don’t always have to be in a dangerous or highly exciting situation to be doing the good you wish to do. Sometimes, maybe it’s the smaller things that matter. I think I need to drop the mentality of “I can do this and I can do that” and come to the realization that I need to be here to do what they need me to do, even if it’s something small like do dishes for the kitchen crew or go into town and be supportive of an acting group hoping to portray the gospel through their short acting piece. I don’t want to have a savior mentality either. I simply want to do good in this world, but I can’t let my selfishness get in the way of that. Sometimes, even the best of intentions can bring the worst circumstances. Savior mentalities have done a lot of harm through out the world. When you go somewhere thinking that you will do this and that, it isn’t good because you’re only focused one what you can do and what you are going to do. I’m really trying to make sure my focus is on doing what they ask me to do and doing it well. I don’t think that is a bad mentality to have, is it?

Maybe there are things I’m doing down here to help that aren’t being overlooked by others. Maybe the people here are happy with how I’ve been helping and happy to have me around for when they need me to do more. I guess I can be happy with that if they are happy with me.

Grant me grace, Lord. Open my eyes.

On a different note, the new Thrice CD is really good and I recommend anyone and everyone to check it out.

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