My name is Carol, and I’m a volunteer addict. Yes, it’s true. I LOVE to be in the middle of whatever is happening. Whenever someone comes up with an idea, I am so there. Lately, I have found that my passion for volunteering has been a detriment to my spiritual well-being. How can that be so, you ask?
In John 15:5 Jesus says, I am the vine, you are the branches. As we all know from Science 101, the branch has to stay attached to the vine in order to grow and produce. If it becomes detached it will start to wither and die. In the last few weeks I have found myself withering. For all the “good” I was doing volunteering, I was too busy to stay connected to my Savior – my vine. I spent my entire time racing from one task to another and not enough time in prayer – not enough time in Scripture – not enough time in the hardest for me “be still and know” periods of my life.
It was a jolt to realize how awful I had become. Being a control freak, I have a hard time letting go of things. After all, no one can do it as well as I do, – right? Totally wrong! When you’re attached to the vine, you can do anything He wants and do it well. So after my reality check, I took a step back and started praying – deeply – earnestly. “What, God, do you want me to give up?” Amazingly it was actually one of the things I love the most. How can I possibly give that spot up? I enjoy that, I’m good at that, people want me there. Ahhhh, there it is – that old “I” and “me” had crept in. Lost my focus – pulled away from the vine and I was dying.
Once I let go, I have felt such peace. A dear friend told me years ago and it’s forever etched in my mind – “Don’t say yes to everything you’re asked to do because if you do, you’re stealing someone else’s blessing”. With that, I pass on the blessing I have received in serving in that one area. I cannot wait to see what God will do with the person who gets to take my place. I’m waiting with anticipation to see what God has in store for me. You see, I’m not done serving, I’m just following the vine.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5