Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Spiritual paths all tend to have a component that includes being helpful, or of service, or of doing good for others. This is not just about getting things done, or making the world a better place, though these can result. It is about getting out of ourselves. Not all service work does this. At times I might be helpful to others, but it is not to get out of myself, or to stop thinking about me. At times, it is to be liked for my good deeds, thought well of, or to influence someone's behavior as a result of my "good" deed. I might do things to become popular, get a promotion, or to simply "look good." The best service work in spiritual growth is to do something that no one notices or for which you may receive little if any praise. Try vacuuming when no one is around. Clean up a mess when no one sees you doing it. The phrase, "If you want to be first, be the servant of all," refers to the kind of servant who does things no one will praise, but everyone wants or expects to be done, "by someone." Lots of people go to spiritual talks and seminars run by volunteers. When they walk in, I wonder how many realize that all those nicely placed chairs might very well have been placed there by the holiest person in the room. I, ego oriented, prefer to teach. Oops! Gotta' go and clean up some mess. There is always hope for conversion.