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Brother Lawrence, a 17th century lay brother and a good cook, spent most of his years in a monastery as a cook. He did not have the education necessary to become a cleric and his mundane duties included cooking meals, running errands and scrubbing pots, anything but changing the world.

Despite his lowly position, Brother Lawrence attracted a huge following no one could explain. His experiences and advice were later compiled in a small book, "Practicing the Presence of God." People often wondered how he could stand the chores and his superiors, but he said: "Nor is it needful that we should have great things to do...We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God."

Martin Luther King said it well: "Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve, you don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve, you don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve, you don’t have to know Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to serve, you don’t have to know the Second Theory of Thermodynamics and Physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love."

(From a sermon by Victor Yap, "Built to Serve" 1/22/2009)

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