Many people might imagine living in New York looks glamorous. They might think: “Oh, New York is an easy place to serve. How hard could it be to live in New York?” When in reality, it’s neither glamorous nor easy, but humbling and stretching.
Recently, a team served with us at Urban Nations Outreach for a week, helping with our classes and doing street evangelism. One way I helped with the team was by going to the grocery store and buying lunch food for the week for them to eat at the South Asian Community Center. Buying groceries in New York is no easy task, but buying groceries for 10-plus people for several days is really no easy task, especially when it is cold and rainy.
That afternoon, as I was pushing my cart full of groceries five blocks back to the center, trying to hold my umbrella over the food so that it wouldn’t get soaked, God showed me what humility looks like. I easily would have used the umbrella only to keep myself dry. But in that moment, I realized this team was not here to serve me and make my week easier, but I was here to serve them. Because I could use my umbrella to shield their lunch food for the week and keep it from getting soaked, the team now had one less thing that they would have to think about. They knew that their lunch would be there each day at the same time. They could come in and eat and take a break to refuel before they went out for the rest of the day.
From being in New York the past few months, I knew firsthand that days spent doing ministry can be long. Sometimes it’s hard to fit in the time to eat and rest in the Lord for a few minutes. Sometimes a simple shift in your thinking can open up different avenues to be able to serve others. Like Philippians 2:3 says: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Cassidy McCowan, a 2016 graduate of Tarleton State University, is serving with Go Now Missions as a semester missionary in New York.