A metaphor came to me…
There was a girl who lived and worked in the house of a rich man. Every day, he would hand her a covered pitcher of liquid, and then he’d text her through the day and tell her where she was to go, and who she was to serve.
The girl did not prepare the liquid, and it varied from day to day. (Sometimes it seemed to vary from person to person!) One day it was chicken soup, the next day it was wine. The girl did not choose who to serve, she was directed. All the girl could do was choose to obey, or not.
It confused the girl, sometimes… because the man who gave her the liquid would tell her to give just a drop to one person and a giant draught to the next. When *she* tried to pour out liquid for someone she thought needed it (but she hadn’t been told to help) she would find that her pitcher didn’t give nearly as much, it wasn’t as nice, and sometimes it wouldn’t pour anything at all.
When she stopped listening to the texts, she found that the pitcher dried up, there was no more for her to give until she went home and ‘fessed up. The man was kind about it, but she felt sad for disappointing him.
Her very best days were the days she laughed and played with her friends, stopping instantly when the text came, and running off on the master’s business. Some of those days it seemed like the pitcher would never empty – and it made her so happy to care for so many people.
One day she tried to give herself airs, because after all – the people usually thanked her, not giving credit to the one she served. The pitcher started serving sour wine – it was awful!
It was hard to stay a simple servant, happily giving out what she was told and nothing else, but eventually she learned that this was the path to the most joy. And so she did. Not every day was perfect – some days she fell into her old habits. But learn she did, because joy is a wonderful teacher.
I don’t think it’s quite that straight a line, but I will say that my joy is very full, and I don’t want to let go. I am so grateful to be part of the family of Christ, and to serve Him and His body in any way He wills. It is a profound blessing.