Federal buildings are not known for their warm and friendly environment, with their tight security and austere atmosphere. Once through the security check, pick a number. Then wait in an overcrowded room, restlessly watching the minutes and hours creep by.
This week during my visit to the Social Security office, I was pleasantly surprised.
A security officer named Mike met my daughter and me at the door, welcoming us as if we were his special guests. He smiled as he checked through our belongings and guided us through the metal detectors. Once cleared, Mike did not stop there. He continued to watch out for our welfare. “Do you know where to pick a number?” he asked, patiently standing next to us to assist if needed. He ushered us into the waiting room and showed us the available seats. We were there almost two hours. During that time, Mike checked in with each person about every 20 minutes, connecting with them as if they were friends.
As my daughter and I left, I thanked Mike for making our experience such a positive and pleasant one. His reply: “We’re all stuck here. I figure we might as well make the best of it.”
We’re all stuck here. I figure we might as well make the best of it.
For Mike “making the best of it” meant spreading kindness and joy. For others (myself included at times) it means “white knuckling it,” impatiently and miserably enduring until the end.
We may be stuck in a difficult job. We may be stuck as the leader of a group that is unreceptive to our vision and plans. We may be stuck in a family where tensions and conflict are high. The scenarios could be endless. We find ourselves in settings we do not like and would never choose.
In the midst of being stuck, our response as servant leaders will make the difference between surviving and thriving. Rather than being a thermometer and simply measuring the temperature around us, we have the power to be a thermostat and actually set the temperature of our environment. The best way to “make the best of it” is to adjust our own attitudes and expectations. Smile to set others at ease. Show interest in them and respond with kindness. Offer forgiveness and encouragement, speaking words of life and hope. More importantly, we must pray for our followers, inviting Jesus to work through us in the midst of the challenges.
I want to be like Mike. Better still, I want to be like Jesus who came not to be served but to serve, ministering to the needs of others, sharing love and hope along the way.
Jesus was stuck here on this earth, but He certainly made the best of it.
In what area(s) do you feel stuck?
What would it look like for you to truly make the best of the situation?
Invite the Lord to empower you to share love and hope with others around you.