This concept hit me the other day and I didn't write it down, but the following is my attempt to reiterate my thoughts: So I was sitting thinking about my life while listening back to the recording of David Miller's sunday morning talk about "The Box of Our Friends", when I began to ask myself questions. Now, when you ask yourself questions, do you ever really get an unbiased answer? Don't answer that. But here's the real deal, I began to ask myself the question of not what kind of friends I had, but what kind of friend I am to each one of them. I thought about a numerous amount of things that I thought could be true about me, but I realized that I love helping my friends.
Occasionally I won't help just ANYONE, but always my friends. I began to ask myself, "Why do you do this? If you do these things all the time, then they'll start to take it for granted, then you'll just be unappreciated for your 'ministry to your friends'." I couldn't help but think, is that really true?
I love to do things for people, but here is my one and only clause:
I wil do things for you as long as they are appreciated genuinely, but as soon as they are 'expected' or 'taken for granted' I will pull the plug."
Is that so wrong of me? I mean there may in fact be times when I don't have time to do something in which case I will likely (but not always) say no to your request. There have been times when people are astonished that I said no, and then become cross with me, because I'm unwilling to help them.
For example, I am the "go to guy" for the four following things:
1) Computer questions
2) Website/internet questions (coding)
3) and assembling/fixing things
4) "Just a real quick" graphic design project
Am I fine with that? Yes. I have said for some time now, that my goal in life is to make myself to be useful, relevant, and ideally indispensable in whatever I am involved in. In other words, I want people to come to me, and have them know that I can do it and I'm more than willing to do so. For sometime now, I have been the person that is always looking for the next way to help out a friend in need. I want to aid and assist in anyway that I can because that is why God has given me the abilities that He has. I always want to make time for people as much as possible, but as we all know there are only so many hours in a day, and days in a week. Right now in my life, I am juggling 40 hours a week of work, 18 credit hours of school, church, a housefull of my closest friends, my amazing girlfriend, my family of course, and my cute little dog Maxine. Where in there am I supposed to have time for God, let alone doing things in obedience to him?
Now I have never been the person to complain about much or try to get attention about things happening in my life, and here's why: If you cared, you'd ask. There are people that know me, and care for me and my heart.So with that said, here's the reason for the title:I came up with the analogy/metaphor mid conversation, and now I'm going to share it with you. Sure it's got some things about it that could be questioned or misinterpreted, but it give me a better mental picture, so I hope it helps you.
"The squeeky wheel gets the grease." We hear that phrase a lot and it's meant to mean that if you make a fuss, your problem will be solved quicker. This may work in the business world, but I feel it's a cop-out. If everyone and their pet monkey knows your life's problems, of course someone along the way is bound to step up and try to help you, either because they are able to or they just want to shut you up. So I sort of do the opposite; I look at myself as "The squeeky board in the floor that still gets walked on." What does that mean? Take this example: When I first moved into my nearly 100 year old house on Rivermont in Lynchburg, Virginia there was a loose board in the floor in my room upstairs. At first, when I didn't know the house I gave this board special treatment, and danced around it as to not worsen the condition hoping that it would last just long enough for it not to affect me while I am living there. Basically while I need it, I want to make sure it has everything it needs to keep functioning as long as I need it. With proper care, that board could last a long time.
When you first move in, you notice all the cracks, creaks, squeeks, clanks, and sounds that an old house makes because your not used to them, but once you've been around it for a while you just get used to them and expect them to be there. This, my friends, is where I feel I come in for some (DEFINITELY NOT ALL) people.
You see, I don't even care where that board is now, I just step wherever my foot lands with the assumption of, "It's held up this long, what difference will a little longer make?" If I was that board, the second that I got overlooked, I would snap and send 'me' straight through the floor and on to the downstairs couch (probably with a broken leg). All this to say, I am like every other person, in that I like to be appreciated and checked up on, but I know that because I am giving and willing, I get taken for granted. Oh well such is life. I am content with the role that God has given me, I just let "myself" get in the way of what God has for me.
I'm not coming down on anyone, just expressing feelings and thoughts. Sorry I have no real ending to this, if you have one, please share it, I want your thoughts and opinions...