Isn’t it interesting how there are some places in life where we have just come to expect bad service? I recently had to renew my driver’s license. Getting ready to do so took a considerable amount of mental preparation. After all, I had heard the stories of others who had survived the DDS and knew that being water-boarded might be more pleasant. So I went fully expecting to be treated as a number, not a citizen. I went fully expecting to be greeted by a less-than-enthusiastic government employee. I’m happy to report, I was not disappointed.
I was herded through the first line like a cow being moved to slaughter, where, after waiting for about 30 minutes, I was greeted by the DDS Bouncer. Just a friendly tip, it is not wise to make cattle sounds while standing in this line. The “bouncer” was a young lady who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old, but she was vested by the DDS with the power to send me away, or give me access. Like I was trying to enter East Berlin before the wall came down, she carefully screened my documents, verified my identity, gave me my “number” and let me in. I couldn’t prove it, but I bet she had the Gestapo on standby in case anybody gave her any trouble.
After getting my number, I joined this vast sea of humanity. It reminded me of the pictures I had seen of Ellis Island back in the immigration boom of the early 20th Century. I found a seat and began to wait. Number after number was called. Finally, it was my turn. And naturally, I found myself face to face with someone who was in no hurry to help me get on with my day. FYI, it is not wise to try to strike up a conversation with these people or make them laugh – they are not easily amused. Trust me.
After spending far more time than I had available at the DDS, I finally got that for which I came – permission to drive for five more years from the great state of Georgia – and just as I expected, I didn’t have to worry about all that happy, smiling customer service getting in the way of a highly inefficient operation!
Peter teaches us that we should be servants. Not like the folks you encounter at places like the DDS, but like people you encounter where their paycheck actually depends on how well they serve. He said in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another…” We serve one another to the glory of God. When God opens up opportunities to plug in and serve, it isn’t something we should do with obligation, but something we should do with joy and excitement. Serving the body of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit is one of the most blessed things that Christians can do.
What’s even better is that God has gifted us, as His children, with special gifts that are to be used to build up the body and grow the Kingdom. Too many times, we treat our service in the church as if we are low-level bureaucrats in a government agency. That should be the farthest thing from our mind. Instead, we should offer service with a smile to the glory of God. So, when you serve, do you serve as if everything depended on it? Or do you serve like somebody owes you something? I think we all know which attitude pleases Jesus.