Three hundred and sixty-five days in a year. Only one day set apart as a day of service. Is this truly fair? I couldn’t help thinking about this as I set out boxes containing the T-shirts students would wear on MLK Day. Why is it that I profess to want to serve God one day, yet I don’t engage in community service as often as I could? Does this one day truly capture the meaning of a spirit of service?
As a college student, finding the balance between studying for classes and engaging in other self-building activities can be hard. So, it’s quite impressive how a thousand students were willing to give up half a day to work for the benefit of others. Not to mention, it was a cold morning too. But what motivated the students to participate? Was it truly the will to serve? Or was it for the community service graduation requirements?
I believe MLK Day is just a stepping stone to motivate students and faculty to embrace the spirit of service. In itself, it’s just a day to commemorate a man whose life was dedicated to fighting for the rights of others. When coupled with the will to serve others, this day becomes a powerful tool that can lead to life-changing experiences. Giving of yourself to others brings a fulfillment that seems inexplicable. Jesus knew the power of service and lived a life that reflected this humble spirit. He didn’t serve only one day per year. He served all 365 days.
In short, though MLK Day is an excellent way to begin learning to live a life of service, it’s just the beginning. Service shouldn’t be simply an event. It should be a lifestyle.