If you are a person of skill and confidence, it can be difficult to be a peer/servant rather than a leader/supervisor. Of course,, if you are service oriented, it is psychologically easier to be a follower. The challenges with each of these personality types are different. In John 13:3-5, Jesus took the callused dirty feet of his disciples in hand, and washed away the dirt. He demonstrated an example, which was very much a call to action to all who follow him.
Regardless of our personality or our perspective of what Jesus means in our life, when we are called to follow, we come to realize that Jesus was NOT projecting a message leading to our success, reputation, or personal advancement. When I first realized this, years ago, I came to engage Christian life as service.
There is an ‘Ick!’ factor in service to the world. No one is born with a desire to ‘do the dirty work’. Nor do many people like tedious, repetitive work. Jesus pointed out that no one will understand it, at first. In John 13:7 Jesus said “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
We might need to be drawn, kicking and screaming, until our reluctance is broken. Even Peter, the first leader in the church, was unwilling according to John 13:8-9. It is not an easy thing to follow, and serve.
But Oh, the wonder. In service to God’s kingdom, there is a butterfly affect – an unfolding plan that I am not fully aware of, but we can know it is happening, and effective. In John 4:34-37, we read:
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
There is a plan, associated with our service. We can realize that we are part of something that God is orchestrating. We no longer think about the “Ick!”. To put it more personally, it is not about what I think, and it is not about what anyone else thinks. I can do it, since I am happy to do it as “unto the Lord”.