serving others: lifestyle vs. hobby

Written by Amy L. Sullivan

SERVE Editor Word lover. Book devourer. Music addict. Amy is a Northern girl who found herself living in the South. She drinks sweet tea, turns her nose up at okra, and attempts to tell her daughters "yella" isn't a color.

September 12, 2013

puzzle

What are my hobbies? Easy.

Reading.

Hiking.

Bustling adventures in the city. Think getting lost on the subway.

Quiet weekends in the mountains. Think getting lost in the silence.

Listening to new music in new places.

Laughing with old friends about old times.

Oh, and serving (see how I tacked that one on the end like that?).

Serving made my hobby list and that’s good (sort of) because that means serving others is a part of my life (you know, like a hobby is a part of my life). See, scuba diving when you go on vacation is a hobby, but craving scuba diving so much that you move to an island just so you can dive, well, that’s a lifestyle.

I serve others like I participate in my hobbies: as often as I can, when I can, and when life gets too busy, I push service to the side. If work gets a little hectic, I certainly can’t lead a life of service.

Or so I think.

My friend, Sam, houses wayward teens like some people house stray animals. There is always someone new at Sam’s house, and that new person arrives with little more than their story. When I ask Sam if she worries about the teens who stay with her or how those teens impact Sam’s own kids, she quickly shakes her head no.

Sam sees a need, and she meets it. No over thinking. No praying over it for years. No waiting for signs. She has something to give; it’s a consistent life in a simple home.

Scuba diving on the island during vacation isn’t enough for Sam. She craved the lifestyle, and she’s got it.

Your turn. I’d love for you to share about your hobbies and if you are hoping to turn any of them into a lifestyle. Go!

 

 

15 Comments

  1. mercynotes

    This is great Amy. First thing I thought of is I want to move to an island because I actually crave water and scuba diving (true story). Second thing is this post really resonated with me. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Julie,
      My dad did just that. . .move to an island! Thanks for reading.

      Reply
  2. Jean Wise

    AMy what an interesting question to ponder and one I don’t think I ever have before. My writing began as a hobby and now is entrenched in my life as part of me. Spiritual growth is the same. I think both comes from deep desires within me and begged to be fulfilled.

    Reply
    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Jean, You described how I feel about writing perfectly. It’s a lifestyle. Now, serving on the otherhand. . .still a hobby.

      Reply
  3. Lori McClure

    This one stings a little bit, because I often want to have all my ducks in a row before I start anything. I need to ponder this one. Thanks for pushing us, A.

    Reply
    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Thanks for reading! I never have my ducks in a row. Maybe it’s something I need to ponder. Ha!

      Reply
  4. jill_richardson

    Yes! There is such a mind shift between “I’ll serve if I have time” (read–I’ll rarely serve) and “I serve because it’s who I am and everything else has to fit around IT.” And we just don’t think that way. (Like Jesus did. Hmmm.)

    Other than that, I’d like to make travel a lifestyle. And get paid to write about it. 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Ohhhh, Jill. I hear you! A travel writer? Sigh.

      Reply
  5. Alicia Bruxvoort

    I want to join your dad on an island! And then, maybe I can sit in the sun and deal with my conviction over what you just wrote here. I think I’m a hobby-server- unless folding underwear and carpooling counts- then I’m a full-time server! Seriously, you’ve pushed me to think hard today. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Amy L. Sullivan

      Let’s book a ticket, girly.

      Reply
  6. kendalprivette

    i love how this is making me think. i don’t love what i’m finding out about myself….

    Reply
    • Amy L. Sullivan

      I understand, but I when I think of you, I think of some wonderful lifestyle features I’d love to pick up.

      Reply
  7. Lisa Van Engen

    We are so similar 🙂 I love that, she sees a need and meets it. No over thinking. YES!

    Reply
    • Amy L. Sullivan

      I am so guilty of overthinking. I wait and wait for all of this reassurance instead of just jumping forward.

      Reply
  8. Jeffrey

    For me the conviction is “show me what you do with your time and your heart is not not far behind.” I feel like giving and serving are always the first ones to get cut. Sometimes, I have to hit pause and remind myself what is truly important.

    Reply

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serving others: lifestyle vs. hobby

by Amy L. Sullivan time to read: 2 min
15