Serving God by Sorting Books?

Serving God by Sorting Books?

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As I approached the empty nest season of life I was praying that God would show me how he wanted me to use the free time I would have. I could have signed up to help with the local food pantry or another service organization. Instead I waited to see who God would send to ask form my help.

What worthy ministry opportunity did God send my way?

The library.

Well, OK. I liked books. I could see spending time volunteering to sort books and stuff. You know, do my public service to the community and all that. But surely the library wasn’t ministry?

Or was it?

As the months turned to years I went from sorting donations to serving on the board to being president of the board. Serving on the library board would never have been something I would have sought out. But I said yes when God pointed me toward the library, and now here I am.

And I have a choice.

I can consider my library service as a civic duty, or I can view it as a ministry. I can compare myself to those who volunteer in “real” ministries and wish I was doing something else, or I can choose to serve the many people who benefit from the library with a willing heart. I can resent the hours I spend doing library stuff, or I can devote the same care and attention to it that I give when preparing a Bible study. (And how might that difference in attitude affect the end results?)

I am learning that I sometimes mistakenly confine ministry to a small churchy box when there are plenty of ministry opportunities all around me. The library serves “the least of these” in many ways. I choose to give that chunk of my time to God instead of feeling like it doesn’t count.

What service opportunities has God brought into your life? What places and people are in your life right now? How can God use you to make a difference in them?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord… Colossians 3:23 a

About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the church or library, she blogs about intentional living and writes historical mysteries.


  1. Laurie Driesen says:

    I love this post Lisa! I believe that when we do the “mundane” things to glorify God, it changes us. And that make us more useful to Him because we have become more like Christ. And besides, we really don’t have a choice when God calls us, even to simple things or seemingly unimportant things. There is still no better place to be than in the center of His will. Thank you Lisa….

  2. Great thoughts. Thanks for your encouragement to keep a good attitude with the mundane things. I like your idea that it makes us more useful to him.

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