In high school, I never felt like I was good at “service.” I didn’t volunteer very much, unless it was organized by someone else. I felt intimidated by people I didn’t know. I was naturally shy. In college, I started to feel a desire to serve, but I felt like I didn’t have enough time. Now, I definitely have time, and as I’ve started looking harder for opportunities to serve, I’ve realized that before, I didn’t really understand service.
I thought service was synonymous with service projects, charities, meals, etc. I thought service was something you scheduled or a project you checked off your to-do list. But that’s not true. A friend of mine recently described her efforts to be “fit for service.” She told me that she was trying to keep her body healthy and ready to serve when the opportunity arose. I’m learning that service is not something you do, but something you are.
But how can we become service-minded people?
By preparing to serve. Pray earnestly for service opportunities. Identify your unique talents and resources and how you can use them to bless other people’s lives. Who can you serve? Sometimes the people you are most qualified to serve are those closest to you. But little kindnesses to strangers are impactful too. Smile more and be aware of the people around you that might need your help. Listen to promptings from the Spirit. Read your scriptures.
“As you serve, a new dimension will be added to your life. You will find new and stimulating associations. You will find friendship and sociality. You will grow in knowledge and understanding and wisdom, and in your capacity to do.” Gordon B. Hinckley
What have you learned about service? What talents can you share with others?