Love, serve and remember God. Baba Ram Dass
So many words and phrases spring to mind in relation to ‘service’… and the first ones don’t sound very appealing…subservient, slave/master, duty. Time served in army, or in jail. Or to serve tables. To wait on others. To perhaps become invisible by focusing on others needs. Putting others first versus suiting yourself.
Next, Bob Dylan’s song comes into my thoughts – ‘Gotta Serve Somebody.’ According to Mr Dylan, no matter what your name, job, place of birth, status, etc, You gotta serve somebody…It may be the devil. It may be the Lord, but we all gotta serve somebody.
Now, on further reflection, I think service means to freely give of yourself what has been freely given to you. Service is a way of saying ‘Thank you’ for the gifts (talents, life, freedom, air, water…you get the idea).
Sometimes we serve by receiving. Allowing others to be of help to us can be a service. If we stop trying to handle/manage/control everything in our lives and instead ask for help with some things, we allow others to be of service to us. In this way both the giver and the receiver serve each other.
Other times we serve by giving. ‘Selfless service’ to me is when we give without expecting anything in return. We give without thinking about it, or without feeling in any way obligated.
When we give and receive freely, we are ‘in the flow’ and service happens naturally. We can give and receive as simply as breathing in and breathing out. Not grasping. Not clinging. Simply serving life’s flow in its various rhythms…’service with a smile.’