I come from a long line of volunteers. It is something we just do, but I don’t volunteer just because it is expected. I learned in Sunday School that Jesus wanted us to help our neighbours and that our neighbours aren’t just the people who live next door or sit near us in church. Neighbours can be people you meet on the bus or at the shops, at work or involved in your children’s sporting teams. Neighbours are the person sitting next to you in the doctor’s waiting room or someone across the other side of the world you read about in the paper or meet on holidays. They are street kids and refugees and even people who behave strangely on the street. Your family and friends are your neighbours too.

If you open yourself to the ‘still small voice inside’ you will be nudged from time to time and nagged constantly until you listen to what God wants your help with. You will have the idea in the forefront of your mind waking or sleeping until you listen.  It can be something small you can do immediately or something which needs a lot of planning. It can be a long term commitment or the work of a moment. It can be very difficult or very easy. That is what happened to me when I heard about the Kids Hope program when our church started our involvement and when I heard that teachers were needed for RI at EnoggeraState School. If you ask He will give you the right words or the courage or perseverance to carry it out. You cannot do it alone. I have tried and found I am not enough by myself. You can end up with your foot in your mouth or make things worse.

You don’t always see the result of what you have been asked to do. It can take years for God to work out his plans and others might be involved in the execution of them. That doesn’t matter because just doing the small service which is asked of you will bring you peace and happiness. That is God’s gift to his people.

The happiness you will feel will seem out of proportion to what you have done but your service might mean the world to others. Occasionally you will be allowed to see how things work out, sometimes years later. Someone will show you how your word or deed has helped to influence their life. Those occasions bring you a glimpse inside the major plan.

You don’t need to know because the feeling comes from just doing your little bit wherever you are called to do it. It is not like being elated about something. That is pleasure. This is a gift that is deep, quiet and beautiful and spills over into the rest of your life.

I don’t have the gift that lets someone say prayers which express everything a group or congregation wants to say. I can talk the leg off an iron pot but can’t preach inspirational words without writing everything down so I won’t forget anything and then reading it out. I feel that helping others makes me a complete person and the opportunities I have been given to be of assistance bless me as much as those I serve and for those gifts I am truly grateful.