Who knew how many teaching moments were involved in other kids’ birthday parties? We talked about etiquette on the way to the way to the party, like “the birthday girl needs to be the priority of your time” and “help her feel special.” Our little one was beyond psyched to go celebrate her friend’s birthday.
Her sweet friend, however, did not really want to play the games available. She just wanted to stay at the birthday girl table. It was such a great lesson of “others first.” Our little one did really well, asking her friend to come play with her and waiting to be released to play by the birthday girl’s mom, setting an example for the other kids who just wanted to go play (and eventually did). After playing awhile, she came back and checked in with the birthday girl. She also made sure to say thank you to her and her mama at the end. I was really proud of her. It’s tough to be in a situation like that and really want to play, but realize it’s not YOUR birthday party.
How many of us really live like it’s not OUR birthday party? Most of us do what we want to do when we want to do it and pay no attention to the people it’s really supposed to be about – others, neighbors, friends. Is going to a birthday party really a missionary journey? You bet’cha and we need to treat it as such. We prayed for the birthday girl on the way and our little one served her friend while she was there. When God has given us influence in people’s lives as friends, family, classmates, He has opened the previously locked door of ministry in those people’s lives. We are called to minister to them, pray for them, invite them into deeper relationship, and ultimately into a relationship with Christ.
May all the birthday parties you attend be missionary journeys and opportunities to serve!