Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fall In Line, Service Boot Campers!

Just a quick thought today.

As I was embarking on Service Boot Camp yesterday, I had a bunch of false starts.  It was a busy day, and I thought any number of my activities could qualify as "my act of service" for the day, but I decided that all of it was just in my regular call of duty, and I wanted to go outside of that.

It was later in the day, and I still hadn't figured out who I was supposed to help.

As I drove to school to pick up Guy, I was thinking about Dana's service for the day "to open doors for people."  I thought, ooh, I could do that, but I don't really go through any doors with people.  I just go stand in line and pick up my son.  Then the thought popped into my head:  "You could give your place in line to the person behind you."

Eh?  Come again?  This was a foreign thought to me, I have to admit.

In the past, I've seen people give up their place in line to others at parent-pick-up, and to be perfectly honest, whenever I see that, I think, "Aw, what a sucker!"  I have never let someone go ahead of me, because when I'm in line, I just want to T.C.B. and get out of there!

So, I knew that this idea to let someone go in front of me did not come from me.

But still I pushed it to the back of my mind.

When we arrived at school, I hopped in line.  I was about the fourth parent in line.

I stood there quietly reading my book with about three feet and obvious silence between me and the people on each side of me.  I sighed to myself and thought, "put your book away, Jocelyn, and be a good neighbor."  

So I decided to ask the woman behind me what time she had and we made small-talk about the fact that school seemed to be getting out late over the last few weeks.  Then she launched in to how pressed for time she always is after school anyway, because she has to rush her daughter home to change and eat with only ten minutes to get her to the meeting place for the car pool that takes her to swim practice 30 minutes away.  If they are delayed, they miss their car pool.  She wasn't really complaining, but I could hear the stress in her voice.  Just then, I threw my hands up (in my mind)...I turned to her and said, "Since you're in a rush, and I am not, why don't you go ahead of me?  Please..."

She protested a little, and I insisted, and off she went, ahead of me in predicted by the Spirit just a half an hour earlier.

Now I don't know that that act made a huge difference in her time crunch, in fact, I'm pretty sure that I still made it out of the parking lot in front of her! :)  But I do know that the Lord was aware of this mother and her desire to get her daughter where she needed to go and the stress that she felt in completing this daily duty.

I also know that in Service Boot Camp the size of the service is inconsequential compared to our mission to hone our abilities to follow the promptings of the Spirit.  Because of that, Service Boot Camp could just as easily be named "Following-the-Spirit Boot Camp," because THAT'S what it's all about.

PS - And yes, another major purpose of my service mission yesterday was to recognize that I needed an attitude adjustment and to teach me that my purpose in standing in that line every day is NOT to TCB (take care of business) but to TCP (take care of people).  
Lesson learned.

If you missed yesterday's post, check it out for some great service prompts and sign the Service Boot Camp contract from Dana Storrs!


  1. I like your idea that making ourselves available for service rewards us immediately with increased sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit...

  2. Love, love, love this story.  Perfect example.  I'm on it!


  3. Haha, great reminder that the little things count.  Thanks Jocelyn!

  4. We give our place in line at the grocery store quite often, especially when I see its an older couple with just a few things to buy or even a stressed out mom with small kids who are crying. People are always surprised by this simple act of service!

    Great job listening to the Spirit and helping a fellow mother out!

  5. You are a good woman! :)  I'll admit, I've let people go ahead of me in other circumstances, but it seems like in line at Parent Pick-up I definitely don't have charitable eyes! :)  Probably because I am the one usually with the most kids in tow! :)

  6. I have let people go ahead of me in line, too. I like doing it as a sort of exercise in unselfishness, because it's hard for me. (I'm always in a hurry, even when I don't need to be.)

    But every time I do it, I feel great...and so does the person (now) ahead of me!


  7. Great job, Sue!  I am learning that this really is a great way to temper ourselves and to show love for others and to remind people that the world doesn't need to be so rush rush! :)

  8. I, too, have issues with giving my place in line to people (I think it has something to do with having kids in tow, too - yikes!) - ironically, I have been the receiver of much "place-in-line-giving" over the years - especially when I have my little kids in tow. 

    I need to start thinking about things I can do like this. Thanks for the inspiring example! :D

  9. I admit that I feel really lame that I am not doing this.  But I have decided that I want to be the one who is served;)  heehee.  No really...if time allowed I would be committed all the way.  But for now--I will be happy hearing of your determination and proud to call you a friend who is the serving queen!

  10. Oh, I have missed reading your blog lately!  I am so behind on your posts!  I love this story - and I love what it teaches us about listening to the Spirit.  I have had service on the brain lately and am SO excited to join you in your Service Boot Camp this year!  (Hoping to do a post of my own about it soon - when I can find a quiet minute!) 

    I've been so busy, I haven't even had a chance to stop by and tell you how FABULOUS your new design looks!  I absolutely love it! :)

  11. Sometimes it is the little things. Like if I am in the grocery store ready to check out with a cart full and the person behind me has 2 things, I always try to let them go first, why should they have to wait on my load?
    I was in the grocery store and walking by the milk. There were at least 3 other people around. I don't think I was even getting milk, but saw a woman struggling to ger her milk off the top shelf. I quickly asked if I could help. She was greatful and accepted, explaining she had surgery on her shoulder and had trouble lifting it. It took me 2 seconds and hopefully spared her some pain.
    sometimes service is just a matter of listening to the spirit or sometimes just paying attention to people around you.