It's 8pm in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. My friend Jonie and I are in the lobby of the Omni hotel having just finished setting up for our conference tomorrow. It was only 8pm and we decided ice cream sounded a lot better than going to sleep.
I've known Jonie for a few years, but our interactions had always been in groups. Jonie and I walk and talk and I'm reminded of who she is. Jonie is one of those people that has been the "Mom" of the group, long before she had children of her own. A few weeks prior she even offered me a snack out of her purse when I mentioned I was hungry.
She's caring, nurturing, and has a servants heart. However, her best "Mom" trait is one that I cherish more than the rest: she is honest. Today in Fort Worth, honesty is just what I needed.
We sit in Sundance Plaza and conversation turns to what daily life is like for each of us. Jonie begins telling me a few of the things her and her husband are involved in. As she shares, I begin to compare the way she chooses to spend her time to how I spend my time. I notice a stark difference in the proportion of activities that Jonie spends on other people compared to herself. The scales are overwhelmingly tipped towards serving others.
When I ask her how they manage to do so much for others and stay sane, her answer is simple. "Stay sane? What we do is the good stuff." And then, with one simple question, she utilized her "Mom" powers and forced me to be honest with myself. "Are you and Joenelle doing things for others?"
Sure, Joenelle and I serve others. Or at least we try to. The more I thought, the more I realized that the times I felt as if my life wasn't complete, or that I didn't have enough, aligned directly with the times I wasn't intentionally serving others.
When we not only have the basics provided, but more non-essentials than we know what to do with, we can get caught up chasing more. This is a chasing of the wind.
If you don't need anything, but feel like something is missing, try doing something for others. What we are missing in life can only be received through giving.
Designate a day of the week that you will serve your community.
What do you do for others on a regular basis?
"I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." - Solomon (probably)