January 14

To serve is beautiful, but
only if it is done with
joy and a whole heart
and a free mind.

Pearl S. Buck


Today's Meditation:

I had a friend once who often volunteered to do things for other people.  I never understood why he did so, though, because all we ever heard from him were complaints about how much of his time he spent on the projects and how unappreciative the recipients of his efforts were.  I'm sure that his efforts were helpful to others, but I can't imagine that they were joyful times for him.  And they certainly weren't beautiful.

We all can serve.  Most of us do serve.  But do we serve because we feel somehow obligated, or because we truly want to do so?  Do we serve because of the feeling that we'll get and the bragging rights of being so compassionate that we'll have, or because we know that service is right, and that in serving we'll be doing something right with the gifts that we've been given?

There are many ways to serve, and there are many people who can benefit from our efforts.  But the service becomes beautiful when we do so with joy and all of our heart.  If we're "just not into it," how do you think the recipients of our efforts feel?  If we serve with no enthusiasm and no love, what's the message that's being sent to those who are in need?  And what do we get out of it, ultimately, if our whole hearts aren't in it?  Certainly we can't feel that we did the best that we could, and there will be little satisfaction.

When we serve, we should take joy with us.  We should do our best to make the experience as positive as possible, for only if we do so can the experience transcend the normal and the everyday and become something special in our hearts and spirits and memories.

Questions to consider:

Is service an obligation or an opportunity--or both?

Would you rather be served by someone who's joyful and upbeat, or someone who is giving their service a half-baked effort?

Where do your opportunities for service lie? 

For further thought:

The value of all service lies in the spirit in which you serve and not in the importance or magnitude of the service.  Even the lowliest task or deed is made holy, joyous, and prosperous when it is filled with love.

Charles Fillmore


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