So this past weekend was a discipleship weekend for the middle and high schoolers entitled: “Wake-up Weekend.”
The students showed up on Friday night loaded down with suitcases, pillows, sleeping bags, snacks, notebooks and Bibles. The music was already rocking and by the time check in was complete there were close to 150 students there. The students stayed in host homes on Friday and Saturday nights and then came back to the church to have Bible study times, worship, and work on a service project.
The service project was a pretty amazing undertaking. The students, led by a group of adult volunteers, were going to build over fifty walls that would be formed together to build a house for a family in need. Each group got a schematic of the wall, the pre-cut pieces, buckets full of hammers and nails, and away they went. It was a beautiful sound to hear the simultaneous banging of hammers and nails echoing across the church parking lot. This part of the project lasted from 10:30 in the morning and by about 5:45 we had the last wall standing up and tacked together with the other walls to show the outline of the structure.
As impressive as that was, I have a story that is even more reflective of what the weekend was all about.
About mid-afternoon when everyone was starting to get a little tired, one of the volunteers came to me and got my attention. Off on the far side of the parking lot, separate from where the work was taking place, a middle school aged boy was hammering nails into some wood by himself. He wasn’t working on any part of the project, he simply had a couple scraps of wood and was pounding nails into them. The volunteer asked me to go talk to him and let him know that there was plenty of work for him to do and that he was wasting nails. I got busy with something else, so I never had the chance to talk to him.
As the day wound down and the last of the walls went up, I saw the boy carrying something toward the newly formed house. It turns out that he had taken two scraps of wood, nailed them together in the shape of the cross and attached them to a base.
He carried that cross over and set it in the shadow of the house we had just built.
It was a very touching moment. You see, it seemed that he was wasting time and materials, when really, he was worshipping the King. In his own way, he was drawing attention to the reason we were there.
It was a reminder of the story of Mary and Martha. Sometimes we can get so busy doing the work, that we forget to do the worship. I would encourage you to remember the One you serve as you go about in Serving.
Without worship, service can become drudgery and we miss the point of why we are there in the first place.