Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What is Service?

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

"And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." (Matthew 19: 29-30)
The spiritual path hasn't been an easy one for me. I have found that God's ways and the human ways are like chalk and cheese. God and mortals are two different species trying to communicate and failing badly.

Have you ever had a nightmare where you are being chased, or something terrifying is happening to you? All you want is to get away from the monster. The human way is to dream a nicer dream but God’s way is simple: "Wake up! You're dreaming." So let's say you're starving and can't afford to buy food, the human way is to find money by any means necessary so you can get some food. If you are one who is supposed to be walking by Spirit, God will remind you that you are Spirit. As it is written:

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4: 4)
When you are not thinking of anything, food is the last thing on your mind. (chuckle)

You could be calling on God to help you get out of a situation by such and such a time. If you are in tune with the Spirit within, you realise that the Spirit is in bliss. Time is meaningless to the Spirit. As the scriptures put it,

"For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." (Psalm 90: 4)
This means no time passes; one day is the same as any other day. Put another way, to God, the 1 January 2006 is the same as 1 January 15006.

Now you see what I mean about human (mortal) and God's ways being totally different? "Houston, we have a problem!"

When you still have needs of food, clothing and shelter but find you are being led by the Spirit who doesn't, how do you get your human needs taken care of? Here’s one solution which I experienced yesterday evening.

When the bus I wanted arrived, there was a mad rush. Everyone was scrambling and pushing others out of the way to get a seat. There were way too many people for the tiny bus. I had no intention of fighting so I stood back. I figured if people needed the bus so badly they can all go ahead. A woman queuing up beside me glanced at me. I felt a lot of love for her and smiled at her. I beckoned to her to get on ahead of me, but she said, "No, you go ahead." We all got on board though I had to stand up. A seat was soon available right near where I was standing.

Most people believe that the spiritual path is being of service to God, the High Self, Spirit or whatever you believe in. It's actually the reverse; it is God being of service. How can God be of service? Because God, who has everything, is in need of nothing. God is taking forms so He can perform Self-service. When I put someone else’s need before my own, it is God working in me, being of service. What happens is sometimes my very act of service awakens the God in the other who also wants to be of service. This is why the other woman refused to get in front of me. And she’ll experience someone else being of service to her...and so it continues.

Serving one another is how God meets our human needs.

Consider the reality where you're only thinking of yourself against the world. You live in a reality where everyone is scrambling to reach the finishing line. You’ll do everything in your power to be the first past the post. This is not a peaceful approach; it is a "dog eat dog" world.

On the other hand, when you live with the realisation that God is all in all, there is no need to struggle or compete with others. There is only God who lacks nothing. But God knows that humans have needs. These needs are taken care of by being of service which meets all human needs until such time when you no longer have these needs or they can be met in another way.

Of course, it all makes sense. I've been doing this all along on an unconscious level. I tend to put others first because it makes for an easy life. But I've noticed that when I put another's needs first mine are taken care of.

Now that doesn't mean that service always awakens the God in another. You could let twenty people in front of you and only a few might respond by being grateful let alone be of service to another. Service is therefore unconditional. In other words, you don’t serve so others can serve you; you serve because it is your nature to serve. Similarly, you don’t give to receive; you give because it is your nature to give. Your needs will be taken care of anyway because that's how it is.

And when I am grateful to someone for services rendered it is actually God in the person that I am being grateful to.

When I went home last night I asked my mother about her church Christmas lunch she had attended. She said she had fun and she'd brought me a piece of cake and some chocolate. The cake was delicious and filled with raisins, which I love. I asked her if she’d enjoyed the cake. She said she had given her piece to me. I offered her some but she insisted I should have it.

I see God serving Self in two ways. First, God wakes me out of any delusion I might have and shows me what is real. Second, God uses me to serve by putting others' needs before my own. By meeting others' needs, I am helping to awaken God in the other, and meeting my own needs.

"And the last shall be first."

With love,