I had a couple of experiences this weekend that left me feeling rather small and selfish by comparison.
The first was Operation Life's 35th anniversary banquet on Saturday night. Not only was the event in honor of the men and women who currently work so hard as EMTs and paramedics to give this county emergency care, it was also for everyone who has worked for the organization in the last three and a half decade.
What I saw were people who give of themselves for a job that really doesn't pay that well. In the case of the volunteers, there's no pay at all. But that's not really the reason for doing this kind of work. It's about wanting to help other people, about genuinely caring about your neighbor and taking care of him in his worst hour.
The second group of people were several missionaries who visited our church this weekend. Of the four men who spoke during the service, three were at or beyond retirement age. What were these men doing running a ranch in Montana or spending their time in China or Central America? Wouldn't they rather be resting?
What they all kept coming back to was they were called to do what they do. They felt drawn to serve their fellow man and to serve God. That's beautiful, and something I can't entirely see in my own experiences.
Don't get me wrong -- I love what I do. I think what I do serves an essential purpose for our society. Ultimately, though, I got into this profession because I love to write and design and talk to people about their experiences.
What these people do would, on the surface, seem to give them nothing. And yet, they all seem to be so fulfilled by what they are able to do and the difference they can make for others. It takes a special kind of person and we're all lucky these people exist.