Although I know that we are called to serve others, I sometimes find it challenging to really put my time and heart into service. In the busyness of day-to-day life, the idea of making a difference through service can seem daunting. Hoping to increase my spirit of service and do something different over my break, I decided to sign up for CCM's fall break trip to Atlanta. I had never been on a service trip before, and my experience with the CCM Alternative Fall Break Trip far exceeded my expectations and changed my perspective on what it means to serve.
During our trip, whether we were serving, cooking dinner, or driving through Atlanta, I had the opportunity to get to know thirteen awesome people. Simply seeing the spirit of service in these other students gave me a new perspective on the joy that comes out of giving of oneself. During reflection on our trip, we were reminded of the words of St. Augustine: "One loving spirit sets another on fire." These words rang true for me because the spirit of those around me increased my own desire to serve.
This idea of passing on a loving spirit resonated for me in each act of service we did. We had the opportunity to work with a lot of great organizations, including Project Open Hand, where we prepared and delivered meals; Global Soap, an organization that recycles soap and distributes it to those in need; and The United Methodist Children's Home, where we prepared a meal and ate with the residents. I was struck by how doing small acts, like delivering a few meals, and doing them with a sincere spirit could be powerful.
One of my favorite experiences was delivering meals for Open Hand. One woman along my group's delivery route came out to speak to us when we delivered her meal and told us how thankful she was for the meals we delivered. This experience really changed the way I thought about service. It illustrated the idea that service is not one, big daunting task. Instead, it is a way of living with the knowledge that each small task is an opportunity to give. In each service opportunity, conversation, and reflection, I was reminded of the joy found in small acts of giving.
I returned to Elon thankful for my experience with CCM, and I hope to keep all I have learned in mind so I can continue to serve, even if only through small actions.
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Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life
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