Living a lifetime of servitude
At Faith Christian High School, most of the extracurricular activities we are offered are positioned around the idea of servitude. Whether it is performing in a concert with the jazz band, playing a part in the most recent theater production or devoting countless hours to any school sport, we think of everything as a ministry.
One of the pivotal traits of FCHS is, naturally, faith. After all, isn't whatever we devote our time to a declaration of our priorities, those priorities being the object of our faith, whether in a deity or simply in ourselves?
The ministry opportunities that we receive at FCHS are generally used to complete the nine hours of service we are required to give each semester at Faith, but we were recently given a different assignment.
Simply called a random act of compassion, we were told to do some service, maybe even unnoticed, and that was that. No amount of time that we were required to work, no signature needed to verify that it was done. It was truly an honor system assignment and, with this in mind, the full extent of possibilities were laid out in front of the students.
It could be as big as bringing Thanksgiving dinner to homeless men and women and spending the time with them that showed how much we cared, or it could be as simple as paying for the person behind oneself in the Starbucks drive-thru.
"For me, acts of kindness are a side effect of love; that's what it all boils down to. There are two things in this world: people and possessions. Whichever one you serve shows which one you love," said FCHS senior Lacey Ellis.
Adopt-a-Family, an FCHS ministry tradition, was held Dec. 16. In the weeks prior to the event, students collected donations around the school, which were then used to purchase Christmas gifts for a family in need.
The gifts, along with a Christmas dinner composed of food prepared by students and their families, are then presented to the family as FCHS students and parents enjoy the fellowship and company of this early Christmas.
The opportunity to give underprivileged families is an immense source of joy, and the benefit clearly goes beyond the family. All of the students involved love to see the smiles that fill the children's faces as they pull out new clothes from the gift bags and fill their plates with mountains of mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.
Austin Cooper, an FCHS junior, said, "The school really pushes the service project, but with Adopt-a-Family not being worth a grade, we actually enjoy it and really want to help."
Perhaps, then, Henry Herrera, junior-senior class Bible teacher and service project assigner, has begun to accomplish his goal: With the basketball preseason at its climax, the FCS Players having only just finished their production of "A Christmas Carol" and all of us desperately preparing for our finals, the students are still finding a longing to take time to serve people, not possessions.
Perhaps we are truly developing an attitude of servitude, an attitude that is beyond perfect for Christmas time, and always. And so, as Tiny Tim aptly observed: God bless us, every one.
Travis Dodds is a senior at Faith Christian High School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.