Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. ~Author Unknown
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In May of 2010 I visited Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, a beautiful land of ancient mosques and modern high-rise buildings. With a humidity of 90%, most days on the outside were hotter than the hottest day in Barbados. Our team sampled lots of Malaysian dishes and tried to soak up as much as we could of this unique culture. But the most significant feature of Kuala Lumpur was not to be found in its stunning architecture or palm tree and pewter industries; nor was it in the remarkably low unemployment rate of 3%. For us, it was the unbelievably exceptional level of customer service which we were offered. From the hotel staff to the taxi drivers to the tour guides to the vendors in China Town to the police officers in the street, nothing was too much or too little to be done for us. And who could forget their smiles! Malaysians smile and smile and smile, genuine smiles that reach to their eyes and let us know they really want to make sure we’re happy. What a huge difference from what we are exposed to in the Caribbean! I would have loved to bottle some of the Malaysian spirit and humility and willingness to serve, just so I could show our people what real service is supposed to be like.
I remember talking to God about this and wincing as He asked me about how I served people: was I willing to go out of my way to help others especially when pressed for time? Was I willing to let the person behind me with less groceries go ahead in the supermarket line? Was I willing to offer an encouraging word of support when needed and in spite of my advice not being taken? Was I a genuinely good ‘servant’ to my employer (‘master’)? Whose feet would I bend to wash without giving a second thought?
Service is important and in some careers critical to ensuring our livelihood via repeat customers. But our lives are not only about those we serve as a result of our jobs; it’s about our willingness to genuinely serve every single human being we come into contact with – wherever, whenever and however. I encourage you to think on Jesus’ example as He washed the feet of His disciples, not only at Lent or Easter time, but all during the year. Let us in turn be examples to others as we go out and serve wholeheartedly under the eyes of the Lord … because we will be rewarded!
Bible Verses & Quotes for Reflection
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
John 13:12-17 (NIV)
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Ephesians 6:7 (NIV)
– I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale
– If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~Mother Teresa
– Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful. ~Author Unknown