As we take trips out to My Village, Jen and I stay with our host moms and their families since our houses aren’t finished yet. As such, my host mom takes care of me and provides what I need – warm water for bucket showers, food, water, etc. Everyone else in the village has to work hard to make sure that they have these things, but if I wanted (which I don’t) to just sit on my bum and not help out with household chores, I’d still be able to survive.
However, if you know me, you know that I don’t usually like to just sit there and do nothing. In the village, I’d much rather help out with whatever they’re doing! There are many reasons for this, including:
– If I just sat there I’d likely fall asleep since I get rather exhausted out in the village. By keeping active I keep myself awake. 🙂
– I want to learn how to do the different chores that they do so that one day I, too, will be able to do them on my own. Soon I’ll have my own house after all . . .
– I want them to realize that I’m not lazy and that I want to help out, even if I don’t know what I’m doing.
Another reason that I want to help out is to be a blessing to them. They do so much for me, the LEAST I can do is go get water at the pump, pound the corn in the mortar, etc. Their lives are so hard, and my being there adds even more work to their day, so it’s a joy to me to be able to be a blessing to them and help them out in their work.
Isn’t that what the Christian life is like, too?
So many people do “good works,” not because it’s a joy, but because they feel like they need to in order to “survive” on a spiritual level. They try to meet their need of being “good enough” before God. But for us who rely on the finished work of Christ on the cross, we know that everything has already been provided for us. We don’t need to do “good works” in order for our good standing before God to “survive.” Instead, He’s already provided everything for us, and we could actually just sit on our bums and let Him provide for us. Even if we did that, He would provide since He is a good Father. But the reasons we do good things is to be a blessing back to God. It’s like a “thank you” for providing for us, and it’s a blessing and joy for us to be able to work alongside Him, just as it’s a joy to be able to pound corn with the ladies from my courtyard. Do we have to do it? No, not at all! We, unlike everyone else in the world, don’t need to earn anything. All of our needs are already met, and serving God is just for the joy of it.
(PS. The picture is of my teammate Jen pounding rice.)