Well done Grace Kelly, who was on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning. At 11 years old she’s a model for volunteering, a mascot perhaps for the new government programme step up to serve, at least according whoever chose to interview Grace, the Today producer?
In case you missed it, Grace told the listeners how she had volunteered to run charity fund raisers with her mum and her friends from Girls Brigade. She said, “I also give a percentage of my pocket money to [a charity.]”
Sarah Montague asked Grace “Do you enjoy doing all this?”
What else could Sarah have asked? Grace wasn’t motivated by power. She wasn’t motivated by money. There’s only enjoyment left as a reason to volunteer, right?
But what if Sarah had asked “why do you volunteer?” or “what motivates you to volunteer?”
Grace might have then said, “I feel sorry for people and want to help them.” or “I am moved by compassion.” or “I want to do things with my life for the benefit of others.” There are loads of reasons for volunteering which are not self serving.
These answers resonate with us much more than “is it fun?” But why do they strike a deep chord with us? The answer goes to the heart of our creator God. If Grace goes to church as part of being in Girls Brigade, perhaps she’s learned the ultimate reason to volunteer. Jesus said he came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. It’s a life changing discovery when we know that the God who made the universe is servant hearted. Once we have been served by him in love, as he died on the cross for our sin, then we will gladly give our lives in service of others. Isn’t this a little bit richer than, “do you enjoy it?”