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Sarah Clark

LDRS 1015
My Why? Reflection
September 23, 2015
For several years now, service has been a driving factor in my life. Volunteer activities
have filled many of my nights and weekends, led me on trips both domestic and abroad, and
have begun to shape my college career and what I see myself doing when I graduate. My
dedication to service and how it has motivated other aspects of my life is very simple for me to
understand and explain. A much more complex question is why I choose to serve in the first
place. What is it that drives me to involve myself in volunteer activity? For me, this stems
primarily from a deep connection to my faith and my personal understanding of the Christian
duty to use whatever gift [I] have received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace
in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10). Beyond my faith, I serve because I adhere to a circular
concept of service: I have been served in the past and will continue to be served in various
capacities, so it is only right that I offer myself as a server in return. Finally, I serve because I
believe it is only in using our individual gifts to help others that we can strengthen relationships
and grow our communities.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to be involved with many different service
experiences, both religious and secular. For me, however, these experiences tend to blend
together, as I feel that every type of service I engage in is inextricably driven by my personal
connection to my faith and my belief that it is our job to help and love others before it is our job
to do anything else. Though I more than understand that evangelism is not appropriate in most
service situations, this inner belief is still a huge driving factor in my desire to serve. There are
countless verses in the Bible that both encourage and affirm my Christian duty to serve others in
love and kindness, but it all boils down to my innate drive and responsibility to strive to model
all of my daily actions after Jesus, the most perfect human example of Gods love that has ever
walked the earth. Because He dedicated all of His time and energy throughout His life to serving
others, regardless of their individual problem and social statuses, it is my responsibility to model
these actions and try to do the same with my life, a task that I graciously and enthusiastically
undertake. Though I am steadfast in my Christian beliefs, I also believe wholeheartedly in every

humans personal choice to worship or not worship whomever and whatever they desire, so I am
fundamentally against trying to force my faith on others through my service and other daily
actions.
My Christian drive to serve because I want to act as God intended me to act lies at the
core of all of my personal service motives, but that is a factor that is very personal to me and
very much a strictly internal influence on my service. Beyond that, I also have some key driving
factors that take me out of my personal context and into a more community-based context. These
are factors that help me take my Christian values and apply them to the world around me,
regardless of the beliefs of those I am serving and those I am serving with. One of these key
beliefs is that everyone has the ability to serve; there is no distinction between those who help
and those who are helpless. There are times in all of our lives when we are at a advantage and
there are times when we are at a disadvantage, whether financially, socially, physically, or
materially. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to reach a state of material comfort and
fortune, but an entire community can fall to a state of poverty and destitution as quickly as a
natural disaster or financial crisis can occur. Because I am currently in a state of relative fortune
in my financial and material resources, I should pay these fortunes forward to help others. When
they can come to a level of security themselves, they can then further this service unto others to
strengthen entire communities, creating a very circular idea of service. If everyone is able to
serve in the ways they can at the times they can, I optimistically believe we can create a better
life for everyone. This concept drives me to give of what I can, and it inspires me to give more as
I grow older and earn more for myself, thus allowing me to play my part in a community that
theoretically helps all of its members to grow in any way that it can.
The final factor that drives me to serve others is that I believe I, along with everyone else,
has personal strengths and resources that I can give that others are unable to provide. Personally,
I am unskilled and unable to help in many types of volunteer service, from medical service to
construction work. However, I am gifted at working with children, educating others, and helping
service organizations in a organizational and management capacity. I am proud of these skills
and know they are helpful to the community, but without others who are willing and able to
serve, I alone will have no impact on a community devastated by disease or natural disaster. I can
help in my own specific way that others are unable to provide, so I think it is up to me to give of
these gifts I have been blessed with in order to give back to my community. We can all serve, and

it is in each of us using our individual strengths and resources to help one another in different
ways that we can be successful as a community. This idea motivates me to serve as often as I can
in any way that I can, as it is in providing these gifts and services that I can contribute to my
community in a way that is necessary and in a way that is uniquely of my own product.
My reasons for serving vary widely in how they motivate me to give of my time and
resources to other. While my primary reasons are very internal and personal to me and my
spiritual understandings, I also recognize my place in the greater community and my
responsibilities as a member of society give me a responsibility to serve. It is in these types of
factors, both internal and external, that I find my personal reasons to serve my community and
those around me.