Some people seem to be fluent in excuses. They can throw them out without any notice. It just seems to come so naturally for them. You know these people, they are the ones who always say they wish they could help but … then the excuses just roll.
These people can be found anywhere, including church. At church these people seem to believe that making excuses is a spiritual gift. At church there are some tried and true excuses that you can always count on. Some of these are “I did my time in the (fill in the department), it’s someone else’s turn”, “I am too old for that”, “I am too young for that”, “I tried that once and I didn’t like it”, “I will pray about it” (while this is sometimes valid, many people use it as spiritual way to delay an excuse), “I have kids, so I have to say no”, “I don’t have kids, so I have to say no”. There are more, but you get the idea.
I was with my 86 year old Dad this week and as I was driving home one of my thoughts was that the excuses many give for not serving in church are just excuses and not reasons. You see my Dad and Step-Mother regularly serve as greeters at their church. My step-Mother regularly plays the organ at different retirement homes and she leads a large organization for senior adults. The day I left from visiting them to return home they were headed to a Nursing home where my Dad was going to give a devotional. Did I mention that my Dad has had open heart surgery, brain surgery after a series of mini-strokes, had cracked vertebrae, has no peripheral vision in one eye and my step-Mother has had a few physical issues as well.
As I made the 6 hour trip home I reflected on their service and thought most of us really have no valid excuses. Add to this that a first time mom in my church is 4 weeks from her due date and is not only still serving in the nursery but is working in our VBS this week. At my first church I had an 83 year old lady volunteer to help in the nursery, all she could do was sit and rock the babies, and that was only if someone else handed them to her. But she did it and the other workers always wanted to work with her because all the babies calmed down when she was in the nursery. She finally retired from that duty 10 or 12 years later.
So I began to think that there are so few valid excuses. I understand finding the right place of service, I don’t understand not serving anywhere. For most of us the title of this post is true, we really have no excuses.
What are some of the most creative excuses you have heard? Here’s praying that you begin to hear more people say they will serve than offer excuses.