To Be Of Service

Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation

Here are three things to think about if you want to review what life is about, or if your life seems to stop making sense. They are three things that address the reason for a human life. Here is the first one:

We are here for the pleasure and fulfillment of the Creator. And when we acknowledge that, we realize that we are an aspect of the Creator, and this is our pleasure and fulfillment as well.

I believe the reason for our life begins with an attitude of service. We are here on earth in service to a reality that is larger than us. When we have that attitude, and live a life of service, we discover that we are not separate from what we are serving, and we share in the fulfillment of what we are serving. But I don’t believe it works the other way around. A person does not experience fulfillment if they assume that they are the center of the universe and the world ought to serve them for their pleasure and their fulfillment. But where you or I have an attitude of service and know that we are serving something that has meaning and purpose that is larger than us, we find that we have the opportunity to experience the pleasure and the fulfillment of that larger reality.

Here is number two:

Therefore, it is important to harmonize with the creative principles by which that pleasure and fulfillment is brought.

Our intention to be of service leads us to the wisdom that lets our service be effective. There are ways of thinking and acting that bring pleasure and fulfillment and there are ways that don’t. For instance, an attitude of victimhood doesn’t bring pleasure or fulfillment. Addictive behavior doesn’t make us happy. Neither does greed. Those attitudes put a person at odds with the creative principles of being. The attitude and feelings of appreciation and generosity, the experience of taking joy in other people’s pleasure and fulfillment, does bring me pleasure and fulfillment.

Here is the third statement:

Nothing else matters.

We are here to do something beautiful in our life and to help other people do something beautiful and wonderful in theirs. We are here to create something glorious. Doing so gives us pleasure. It is the fulfillment of our life. We are here for that. I understand that in the process of letting that happen, there is a lot else that appears in a person’s life. There are all the challenges. There are trials and tribulations. There are apparent failures and setbacks. That is all part of the process. Yet, in the end, those experiences are not why I am here, and I don’t believe they are why you are here. Our life isn’t about our trials and tribulations. It is not about all the things that are incomplete and not the way we want them to be. It’s not about all the things that are unfulfilling or painful to us, even though those things are there and they are part of the process to be embraced in a human life. Ultimately, those experiences are not the reason we are here. Our lives cannot revolve around those experiences, and our lives lose meaning and purpose if they do. So that is what this third point is about. Nothing else really matters but the pleasure and fulfillment of what and who we are serving.

Is there anyone in the room who has not felt hurt in their lives? It is a pretty sure bet that nobody would say they have not. There is something for us to do with those experiences. We have the opportunity to bear them, to hold them and then transform them. It is not as if we do not have challenging experiences. There are things in life that are painful and difficult. And still, our life is not about those things. They do not define us. Our pain and difficulty does not deserve to be the centerpiece of our life. And I notice that for me, or for anyone else, when such things become the centerpiece of our lives, our life stops making sense.

We are here for the pleasure and fulfillment of the Creator. If you look at the natural world, do you think there’s any pleasure and fulfillment going on? Looking around at the mountains, flowers, birds and the trees—what do you think they are up to? Do you see any pleasure and fulfillment going on? Do you see any beauty?

If you had a dreary view of the world, you might go outside, witness this glorious California spring, and say, “There is death all over!” And in some way there is. There are those forms that are passing away. The plants and animals do not live forever. Hurt and pain are sometimes involved when forms of life pass away. But as we look at the world, that’s not really the point, is it? There is something glorious being revealed in the natural world; and, in the same way, there is something glorious to be revealed in our own life and what we’re about together. It is important to pay attention to what lets that happen, and to what brings no joy. Living just for oneself in any way does not bring joy.

I’d like to share a quote from the Book of Ruth in the Bible. This is Ruth speaking to Naomi:

Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God. (Ruth 1:16)

This verse is deeply meaningful to people because there is a portrayal of an attitude of service. In a profound way, what is portrayed through Ruth’s words is that her service lined up at many levels. It aligned with Naomi so that there was another person that Ruth could look to, and she knew that she could, in her integrity, be of service to Naomi. But it went beyond the personal. She said, “Thy people shall be my people.” So her sense of purpose and destiny lined up with a collective body of people. She saw that she could fulfill what her life was about in relationship to other people and with other people. It is hard to live a fulfilled life that is without relationship to other people. And it is a blessing when our sense of purpose, destiny and service lines up with other people.

There is a third level of alignment that is portrayed through these words: “And thy god, my God.” When two or more people acknowledge that the unseen reality that they love and serve is the same, it is a powerful factor in bringing them together, inspiring loyalty to each other in that context.

Here are three things lining up for Ruth: the Unseen, a body of people, and her relationship with one other person. It is a blessing when that occurs in a person’s experience.

Oftentimes, people wait for the perfect person to commit themselves to in love and service. For a moment, another person can look perfect. But perfection, in the eyes of the beholder, doesn’t last forever. When things are lining up inside between people, the relationship does not require perfection of another person.

Being of service does not require that we make the assessment of a person or a body of people that they are perfect according to our standards. When we understand that somebody else is loving what we love and serving what we serve, the stars can align and we have a great opportunity together. Together we can bring the fulfillment of the Creator in whatever way in whatever field, and we can learn how to do that. We are not born knowing. Our spiritual development brings us to an understanding, at a deep level, of how we do this together.

I’d like to close with a deep prayer of my heart.

May the comforter descend on those who love and serve the Most High. May they be healed in heart, mind, body and spirit. May they find a new level of peace as their life and their service fulfill the Divine Plan unfolding on earth on this day. So let it be.

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