A lot of my friends have been telling me lately that I have got to learn to say no. I guess that is good advice, but I realize if I were to say no to doing anything except what I need to do for myself that I would be missing out on opportunities to serve others. It is a valuable life lesson that I want to teach my daughter. Yesterday, McKenna and I went to help serve dinner to over 100 people. Now, I had every reason to say no. I had already worked over 50 hours at 2 jobs this last week, went to 2 cheerleading practices, etc. etc. etc. I was tired and had stuff to do for myself. Nonetheless, off I went.
Every quarter, my parent's church invites people from the surrounding communities to come for a free dinner. I have been going to help for as long as I can remember. The whole ordeal lasts about 8 hours including prep work, cooking, setting-up of tables, serving and cleaning up. This time, we had roast beef and baked potatoes. This meant that somebody had to wash 5 bags of potatoes, and the job was assigned to my 12 year old daughter. She hadn't washed more than 10 potatoes when she asked if she had to wash anymore. We told her that someone would be coming to help, but yes, she had to wash until the job was done. Then, she wanted to know if she would get paid for doing it. I told her that she shouldn't be doing it to see what she could get out of it, but because she was doing something for the benefit of someone else. No, there would be no monetary gain.
She grumbled most of the way through, but found out there was some satisfaction in washing the last one and seeing the trays full of clean potatoes accomplished. She also learned that sometimes we say yes for no other reason but to do something for someone other than ourselves. You see, oh givers of advice....saying no isn't always the best option.
And yes, Kara, I will come over and help you price stuff for your garage sale this week. At least we can head over to Sonic afterwards so you can buy me some ice cream. You see...I'm not completely selfless.