While growing up in a small, Midwestern farming community I vividly remember asking myself often, “Is this as good as it gets?”When I left that farming community and moved to what many viewed as a big city, I found myself questioning over and over, “Is this as good as it gets?”
When I started working full-time for a non-profit, I thought to myself, “Surely, this is as good as it gets!”
…and then I started volunteering my personal time to other local non-profits and thought, “Now this is as good as it gets!”
Oh, but then I experienced my first international service trip and shouted from the mountaintops, “There’s no way it gets better than this!”
…and then I had an unexpected conversation about living a life in service to God with an ENLACE staff member on a Land Cruiser traveling bumpy back roads of El Salvador, and with tears running down my face I quietly thought, “This. This is definitely as good as it gets!”
I realize serving others has been part of who I am since my upbringing in a small town rooted in the concept of when people need help, you help (and they will, in turn, help you), but it’s been through unimagined, wonderful, challenging, and incredible experiences since that God has amplified for me a life-changing secret:
"While nothing will be as good as it gets until we enter Heaven,
serving others is absolutely as good as it gets while here on Earth."
Matthew 25:21 – Well done, good and faithful servant…
Service to others is unique, an intimate thing between you and God, and it looks different for everyone. It can be done by way of sharing your time, talents, or even financial treasure. Whether you volunteer travel on a short-term service trip, donate to a nonprofit you feel personally passionate about, cook a meal for someone who may need it, or write a letter to someone who needs to hear how loved they are, all service is beautiful and worthy in God’s eyes.
Admittedly there are days where serving others may feel hard to do. You have your own bills to pay. You feel as though you do not have time to show up for that volunteer slot. You had a bad day. Do it anyway, trust me. Once you see how God starts showing up in your life after service to others, life simply will not be the same.
With that, I pray you will choose to fervently serve in a way where you stand at the gates of Heaven and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
And personally, I have to leave you with this:
Choosing to link my life to ENLACE through service might be as good as it gets for me until I see those pearly gates of Heaven (and I’ve served alongside a lot of nonprofits). If you are here because you already love ENLACE, may I encourage you to go and share their good work? And if you’re here for the very first time, may I encourage you to spend a little time exploring the website and follow their social media channels? It’s there I am certain you will fall in love – as I have - with what ENLACE stands for. It’s beautiful, unique, and definitely something you want to be part of.
Meet Sarah Franzen
Sarah Franzen currently resides in Normal, Illinois where she works for COUNTRY Financial. In her role as Senior Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist, she is charged with managing strategic philanthropy efforts for the company (which is perfect as it naturally intertwines with her personal passion for supporting communities and enriching the lives of people living in them). She started at COUNTRY after taking a leap away from the non-profit world where she had served as the Development Director at Habitat for Humanity. Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a master’s degree in Communications, both from Illinois State University, where she has previously taught as Adjunct Faculty.
Sarah spends most of her free time trying her best to help people (giving back is truly her love language). Some of her favorite ways to support others are by traveling overseas with mission teams, serving as a wish granter for Make-A-Wish Foundation, and helping with all things St. Jude Children’s Hospital related.