Last Saturday I ventured out with some "youth" to take part in City Lights. We rose early and met at St Paul's. After a brief poll, the consensus was that most people would normally have been in bed at this time on a Saturday! But here we were, up and ready to go! We jumped into the cars and headed up to the Urban Vineyard church to take part in a day of City Lights community projects.
City Lights aims to raise awareness about our local communities and the way we reach out to practically help those around us. On Saturday three groups gathered in different parts of Auckland - central city, south and west. We had a discussion about our motivations to serve and in particular our motivation for taking part in something like City Lights. We referenced Philippians 2, focussing on the verses "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others." Our group was also struck by the following verses that describe how our attitude should be like Christ's, in that he was fully God but humbled himself as a man, taking on the nature of a servant, being obedient - even to death on the cross for us. Wow! What an example to follow. It was interesting to come to the conclusion that our motives are always tainted by the fact that helping others makes us feel good but to do it any way. To not be put off by Christ's amazing but seemingly unattainable example but to keep serving and bringing back it to God. Just give it a shot!
The girls and I went to the Bethany Centre to do some major hardcore gardening - clearing bushes, removing tree stumps, weeding, generally transforming a couple of areas of the garden. The girls gave it all that had, working tirelessly for four hours. Even though they were pretty exhausted, they were amping to do some random acts of kindness. We bought 60 ice blocks then descended on Grey Lynn Park to give them out. People kept asking the girls how much they were and were pretty blown away when they found out they were free. Several people said, "You've really made my day!"
So after our intense discussion earlier about our motivation to serve, I was blown away by the hard work and generous attitude and spirits of the gorgeous girls that I had the privilege to hang out with for the day. They ranged in ages from 11 to 15 and they gave their all! They spent their whole Saturday working very hard to make other people feel good. And we had fun! I could not think of a better way to spend my Saturday. Thanks girls. You are beautiful inside and out!