Many of us probably have upper class and working class family ties intertwined in our ancestry. My grandfather, who ran for Governor of Alabama against Wallace in the seventies, worked his way to being a millionaire, as did two of his siblings. They were all children of hard working class parents. As I was growing up, being a head strong, first born child raised in private school, I had my Lady Mary like moments. However, difficult times and finding out I was conceived at a KOA campground in Pigeon Forge sort of popped my insulated bubble of grandeur and provided a humorous antidote for my pride. After years of maturing (still maturing) I have a much more servant minded outlook. Looking back, I can see where God was humbling and training me. When I first moved to Atlanta, it was solely to pursue a career in acting. To support that desire and dream, I waited tables, then took a job as a nanny of four precious children for several years. I had my plans for success and God had His plans for me. Now having worked in a large church for over a decade and because of those combined years in service, I feel a huge connection with the servant characters of Downton Abbey and also appreciate how well they are acted out.
It just so happens that my own workplace not only reflects a similar physical appearance to Downton, but some significant spiritual parallels as well. It may sound a bit strange, but working and serving in a large church is very much like partaking in the running of a grand estate, but with greater responsibilities and reverberations. The collective heart's desire of the church is to love God wholeheartedly, to love others and to share the good news of God's love. An outward sign of that love is our joyful service to God and those around us. It is a serious matter, for we know our Lord and Master, who deeply cares for us, sees everything, for nothing can truly be hidden and we will all be called to give an account. Our attitudes are extremely important too, for God loves a cheerful giver. Which applies to all that we give, not just monetary gifts, but how we give of our time.
If we work to just be paid and have our needs met, then we miss out on a great deal. There are many who work faithfully with a heart felt love for those they serve and their coworkers and it shows! Over the years, I have met a wide variety of personalities from diverse backgrounds and I am happy to observe that the vast majority seem to go above and beyond in their service to others and work with a sincerity of heart. Again, not to imply everyone gets it right all the time, but overall, there is a wonderful atmosphere of love and joyful attitudes that are entwined with responsibility, accountability, and grace. It's a safe place to share brutally honest difficulties and feel compassion when we find ourselves struggling.
My bosses' leadership and direction over the past eleven years has been a huge blessing in my life, for which I am very grateful. Watching her sincere love for the Lord, her respect for those in authority over her and how she leads her team has been beyond just a valuable experience. It makes my heart happy to be apart of a group working together in love, humility and integrity to serve those around us. Just as in Downton, we are a family!
So may all of us who are in the body of Christ around the world get ready, for our Lord and Master is coming back and we should be about His business, sharing the Good News of what He has done for all mankind and preparing for His return. And may those who do not know God, seek Him now while He may be found, for He is not only a Good Lord but a Good Father. If interested, please feel free to check out our testimonies. It would be our pleasure to share the goodness of our Lord with you!
John 15:15-17 says, "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another."