Contrary to what some teach, few things in spirituality are actually dualistic in nature. Put another way, it is rarely as simple as ‘yes’ or ‘no’. However, in some ways the act of service falls into that unique category. We can only either be in service to God or ourselves—service to God’s plan and will or our own intentions, egos and desires. We distance ourselves from this attitude of service to others when we try to take control of the situation. Service is, after all, about surrender and surrendering is how we come closer to Holy. This is why service was such an important focus of Jesus’ ministry and teaching. When we try to control the act of service we run the risk of transforming our service into power to hold over others, as Pope Francis recently stated, “acting like masters rather than servants”. I have found that the lasting damage of this kind of controlled servant-hood leads to pride and arrogance instead of allowing us and others to experience the real and transformative love of God found though surrendered servant-hood.
Prayer: May I surrender to service, joyfully.