Summers are a time for vacations, road trips, ice cream, and being with friends. Mine didn't look exactly like that but it was filled with many exciting adventures. For the past 5 years, I've worked with a company to produce souvenir/travel-log videos for 4 leadership camps in Europe. Each camp focuses on a different age group and gives them experiences and seminars on leadership. The goal being to help them to become leaders in their schools, homes, volunteer organizations, future jobs and lives. While working with these camps takes me out of Africa and away from producing the stories there, it is always a highlight to my year.
Besides the amazing scenery in locations like the Spanish coast, Swiss Alps, and Austrian lakes the summer offers me a chance to serve in a different capacity. While working with these camps to produce videos I am able to serve the students, counselors, and directing staff. I've taken to signing all my letters and correspondence, “Your Fellow Servant, Drew.” This reminds me and maybe others too that the goal of life is service. Service has an interesting paradox. Simply put: The more you give away what you have, the more you have.
My life is full. Full of activity. Full of great friends and people. Full of conversations that challenge me. Full of purpose. Full of responsibilities. Full of hope. I often don't think that I can handle anything more. This is were the service paradox come in. I could protect my already full time. I could see myself as too busy to serve anyone else. At these camps it would be easy. I'm not a resource teaching or a counselor keeping the students in line. I'm the video guy and my responsibilities compared to the others is pretty small. I hold a camera and edit a video. But if I want to be a servant that means giving away my time, my energy, what I have to others. So I sit with the counselors at lunch and talk them, help them laugh off the stress of work, come up with ideas to handle issues, and encourage them to pursue their own dreams. I sit with the resources and hear about their families, and offer to help them put together a video to help expand their businesses. I talk with the leadership and brainstorm ideas about future camps and how to improve for next year.
None of that is my job but it is me. I am a servant. As I work to serve the people I am with, I find the paradox true. I have more time to take care of responsibilities, or tasks take less time than expected. As I give away time, I find I have more. As I talk and share my hope, I find that I have more. As I encourage others I am encouraged. As I serve others, I am served.