Years ago I put forth a question to the Universe, "What precisely is service?" I realized I didn't think I knew what that meant. Oh, I knew what the world thought it meant, but the more I thought about it the more I was convinced I was missing something important. I am of the belief that whatever question I put out there to the Universe the answer will return to me eventually. "Ask and it shall be given you."* The form in which the answer comes will vary, and really doesn't matter, only that I receive it. More importantly, that I am open to receive it. It took years, but the answer finally came. It took that long for me to open myself enough to receive the fullness of the answer. I didn't realize that I was actually walking through the answer in practicing love and gratitude. In essence, I was becoming the answer to my own question.
The only way I know how to express what I have learned service to be is to say what I am in service to. I am in service to Spirit, the Universe, God, whatever you desire to call It. What Spirit represents to me is best said in these words, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."** I serve these fruits by putting them into action with you, with myself, with all my relations.
Along the way of my spiritual journey I came to the realization that all these fruits have been in existence long before I came to be on this earth. The more I pondered this realization, the more I realized I could not truly claim them as completely mine even though I had expressed them from within me. If that is true for the fruits, if they belong to Spirit, then that goes for the opposite end of the scale as well...fear, hate, etc. Those things have also been in the world long before any of us came to be here, and it is for certain I have expressed them from within me as well. Yet I cannot fully claim to be either one, but I'm aware they are found within me. So what does that make me?
The one who chooses which side to express. Co- creator. They belong to Spirit, and Spirit lives within me.
Love is the greatest of these fruits because when love is expressed all the rest of the fruits follow automatically. They are all basically the same. Choose one to put into practice and you will find all of them. Yet within love is found a wisdom that is beyond this world. Way beyond my limited understanding. The wisdom inherent in love is profound, and will provide all the answers we seek. Within love is found healing and regeneration. Yet love must be expressed through us to understand and gain that wisdom. Love must be something we do, that we put into action, not just some airy fairy notion floating around in our head. How do we practice it? Where do we find it within ourselves to put it to practice? Right inside our own heart. If the only love you find right now in your heart is for a plant, express it. If you have love for a pet, express it. Surrender to the love you find in your own heart, and let it shine forth. Decide to be in service to It. Then let it expand, move ever outward from within you. When fear crops up, decide you serve love instead, and follow through. When dissension crops up, decide you serve peace instead. It takes practice, and decisive thought within the moment. Yet it is an exercise in faith well worth practicing.
That is what I discovered my service and surrender to the Spirit of Love did for me. It melted me, broke the hard stone around my heart. The more my heart was opened, the more my mind was opened to encompass its wisdom. Through my service, through my practice, Love changed me. And now...now I willingly, openly, consciously, let Love shape me.