I’ve discovered one secret to moving from striving to serving. The only problem is, I’m not naturally good at it.
My family is well aware that I am not very observant.
When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a duplex that had a short walkway with small patches of dirt on either side leading up to the front door. One day as I was coming in from work, I noticed some plants with little blue flowers on them. I walked inside and exclaimed “Oh honey! Thank you for the little blue flowers out front today! They are so pretty!”
My husband gave me a quizzical look and said, “Dear, those little blue flowers have been there for over a month.”
For more than 30 days, I walked right past those plants without even noticing them. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, my mind was too consumed with making it through that door and all the tasks waiting on the other side. I missed my husband’s special touch to make the outside of our temporary house feel more like a home. My husband saw a need and met it. I missed it.
“Blue flower moments” have been a running joke in our family ever since. Unfortunately, it was not the last time I failed to noticed little things around me.
All too often, I focus on the tasks at hand instead of the needs around me. There is always something else to do … another meeting to attend, another report to write, another client to call. We keep our heads down, running hard after the calling God has put before us, trying to get through the door labeled “success,” and we miss the “blue flower moments” God plants on our path.
I want to be a noticer of the blue flowers – the needs I can meet to make people feel special. The client who craves a confidence boost. The intern who longs for just the right word of encouragement. The co-worker who needs to share her heart along with her cubicle space. Every time I intentionally notice these needs I can almost hear God’s guiding, “You aren’t at the door yet, but you are on the right path. Keep following Me and you’ll get there!”
Working hard at the task God has given us is important. But He has called us to serve instead of strive to get ahead. His little blue flower-lined path may eventually lead us through the door marked “success,” but we can only pass through it if we are serving the needs of the people He has placed along the way. And to serve we must notice.
To be a better noticer, it is helpful to connect with people on a deeper level. When we know what moves, excites, frightens or inspires them, it is easier to notice when a need in their life is going unmet. We may not always be able to meet the need, but we can walk with them down the path, pointing them to the One who can meet any need.
God shows us that by noticing needs, we can cease striving and start serving. Now that’s what I call a holy hustle.
a guest post by Christa Hutchins
Christa is kicking off her “More Than a Blog” course and has invited all of you to head over here to learn more. In the course, Christa leads Christian writers, bloggers, ministry leaders and business owners to a deeper understanding of God’s strategic nature and how we can apply lessons from Biblical leaders to our ministries today. That sounds like #holyhustle to me!