MARTIN: There is hope in serving others during the holidays

Published 7:22 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

By Jerria Martin | Martin is a minister and  director of Drug Free Communities of Dallas County.

As we enter the Holiday season, we often see the word joy all around town, plastered on walls, shirts, ornaments, traces of joy are everywhere.

What brings you the most joy during the Holiday season? Growing up, my joy came from knowing that in a few days, if I was more nice than I had been naughty, I would be receiving a bunch of cool stuff; actually just about everything I had asked for.

Back then, my joy came from getting, but as I got older, I began to consider what my pastor would always tell us before the offerings, “It’s better to give than it is to receive.”

At the time I first heard this, I thought it was the most absurd statement that lacked any sane notion of validity.

However, as years passed, I learned more about giving and I found that putting service above self is actually quite fulfilling. I found joy in helping others in need.

What are you doing for others this season? Have you done anything for someone besides yourself recently? Isn’t that what this season is all about?

It’s ironic how we go from Thanksgiving on Thursday, being thankful for all that God has blessed us with, to fighting in lines on Black Friday, to get more of the things we don’t need.

Now, more than ever, it is so easy for our society to be focused on and consumed by the “me, myself, and I” mentality.

Just think about it, some of the most popular items out right now are the I-pods, I-phones, I-pads, I, I, I.

Surely we’ve done a lot for ourselves already this season, but we can’t let this special time or another day pass us by without thinking of and doing for others.

There are so many ways to serve around Selma, from ringing the bell with or donating to the Salvation Army, to volunteering with the many programs of the Edmundite Missions, United Way or Dallas County Children’s Policy Council.

Even simply offering a smile and friendly hello to the person in line behind you at Walmart can be the most beautiful form of service to someone having a bad day.
You will brighten their day and yours.

It feels so great to serve. I suppose Nobel Prize winner, Rabindranath Tagore, was under this conviction when he quoted, “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Let’s go out and make Selma a little brighter, a lot more joyful. Positive change starts with you.

So roll up your sleeves, pull up your britches and get to work, because there is inspirational, empowering, and liberating hope in service.