Richard Beck spends most Monday evenings teaching and serving inmates in a Texas prison. During the past year, he periodically shared some of his experiences there with the world at large through his blog. In a post near the end of 2017, titled “Prison Diary: This Boring Thing We Call Grace,” I found the following words to be a good reminder:
“Prison ministry isn't all that exciting. Maybe you noticed that as the year went on, getting bored to the point of skipping these Friday installments. I get that. But there is magic in the boredom. As I said at the start of the year, prison ministry is about fidelity, showing up week after week, month after month, year after year. There is nothing particularly sexy or heroic about just showing up. Heart-wrenching and amazing stories aren't happening every Monday night. Trouble is, though, we get addicted to those heroic stories. And the Christian publishing and speaking industry keeps us addicted to these heroic stories. But I'm not a hero. And the Men in White aren't heroes. And what we experience on a typical Monday night isn't going to show up in a story for a book or the speaking circuit. We're just small, broken people looking for grace in a sad, lonely, and very mean world. And from time to time, we find it with each other. Mostly in the smiles and hugs we share when we are reunited again each week. Grace, I think, always feels like coming home.”*
Perhaps your work in the kingdom of God doesn’t qualify as “heroic” by most standards. Books aren’t being written about your marriage. High profile speakers don’t reference your congregation’s efforts. But you continue to serve anyway -- through thick and thin, through good times and not-so-good times -- because it’s not about being the hero. It’s about being faithful. May our service to God through serving others never become boring to us. May we learn to hunger more for God’s grace than for our own glory.
God loves you!