The purpose of Life is to Know, Love, and Serve the Creator.
But how do you Serve an All-Giving Entity?
I believe that to serve the Creator, is to serve Humanity.
Humbly, honestly, and as joyfully as your heart will allow you to offer help to another.
You can serve another human being or even an animal or some other Creature here on Earth. You’ll know when you become a true servant. You will serve more out of love than out of duty, habit or money. You will expect little or nothing in return, but reap joy, inspiration, and serenity when you least expect it from those served.
I daily serve a white rabbit, two chickens, and a rooster, as well as dozens of birds and sometimes some pesky squirrels. That’s not to mention two house cats whose litter box gets changed every morning whether it needs it or not.
I have never, however, seen a litter box early in the day that did not need clump removals. I feel so humbled when I kneel on the floor of our small bathroom and reach for the box bringing it closer to me as I dig in with a sifter removing the overnight deposits, often needing to scrape the sides that accumulated from the droppings of our older cat that constantly drinks water and subsequently expels the waste in a haphazard fashion. Humbled? You bet. Serving honestly? I actually perform a thorough job despite having just awoken at 6 to 6:30 a.m. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, somebody’s mama once said to me, and I apply it to this clean-up.
Joyfully? That’s a tough one. I do feel a sense of Pride, in that I accomplished the first major chore of my day and I helped give our feline friends a more hygienic place to “do their business.”
Deep within, I take comfort in doing the chore because it is one I took over from my wife and is one less act she must face each day. It is a dirty job. (Wait, have you ever cleaned a chicken coop?) It is one of the least desirable indoor chores to do and usually only gets noticed when a not-too-pleasant aroma seeps out because the chore was left undone for too long of a time.
Yes, I feel that I am serving my family with this routine. I do it gladly without seeking a pat on the back. I do the same when feeding the rabbit and releasing him from his cage to scurry through our expansive, hilly backyard. Next, I serve the birds who swoop down to the low hanging tree branches near the three-foot statue of St. Francis of Assisi and the feeders. I nicknamed two morning doves, ” Thelma and Louise.” and simply call our more colorful bird friend, the “Cardinal.”
I place six peanut shells (peanuts included, thank you ) on a small stool and cover the stool with black sunflower seeds, in hopes of diverting squirrels away from the bird seed. It worked fine, until my son hatched three chicks in his bedroom using an everyday lamp, cardboard box and tender love and care to raise the chicks into larger fowl. (All three chicks grew and matured into . . . three of the loudest roosters my suburban neighbors ever heard at the crack of dawn.) We moved the fowl outdoors and they soon ate all the sunflowers seeds and pushed the peanuts off the stool and onto the concrete pavement of the yard.
I performed these chores out of a love for animals. I do it in the rain as well as in the snow, (This will be the chickens first winter. We exchanged two of the roosters for two barnyard hens and I have eaten egg salad several times over several weeks now.)
Today, I sat at the top of our backyard hill, near a shed we’re building to house the fowl and store garden equipment. “Hilary” the smartest of the hens, squawked as if in pain and I called her toward me. The critter bounded over and stood to my left, where I could physically separate her from the copulating-minded rooster. Hilary has sat on a nest of eggs (one egg) for four days, 24-hours a stretch through the cool and windy nights. This was only her second time out from that nest. She wanted space to stretch her wings and her legs and not remain stationary for the rooster, I thought.
“Get away,” I shout at the rooster I call “His Whiteness” because of his white, hawk-inviting feathers. I felt the hen next to me becoming still. I closed my eyes. Seconds passed and I noticed minor movement to my other side and toward my front.
When I opened my eyes, I was in awe.
The hen was still at my left, pecking dirt for possible worms. But at my right side, snuggling up to my right thigh, was “Cwazy Wabbit,” the white bunny. The rooster stood in front, staying several feet away from the rabbit, and strutting beside the other chicken, “Michelle.”
But, next, I saw a squirrel perched on a rock less than 8 feet away, munching peanut shells to get to the nuggets inside. The animal traveled more than 75 feet from the bottom of our patio to the top of our hilly backyard and then onto the rock. We made eye contact and I have never felt so much in tune with nature and the physical world around me as I did then, surrounded by God’s creatures of whom I have decided to serve wholeheartedly.
If what I present here is true, that is, we serve God by serving others in the universe, then the USA has the potential to be, or has in fact already become, the most Spiritual nation on earth. We have more people in the Service Industry than anyone else. If only 1 percent of us serve humbly, honestly and joyfully, than we commune with God on a daily basis more than one could ever imagine.
Waitresses, bartenders, car salespeople, not to mention salespersons, health providers, cosmetologists, teachers and even news reporters (don’t hiss . . . one can offer the service in the Name of God and/or Goodness. I tried to when I worked as a newspaper reporter).
How many of us go above and beyond the call of the job, the service, particularly when dealing with an elderly person or a child? How many of us genuinely smile when in the service? Madison Avenue has also gotten into the spirit, providing us with so many jingles about “doing” for others. “Service with a Smile,” “All the Better to Serve You,” “Service is Our Middle Name.”
You can probably think of half a dozen more.
The Creator is not confined to a building or a Greek icon or a book. God is not out there in some never-never land. God is inside each of us. We can do God’s work without ever using His (Her) name or praying exactly the way a Sunday School teacher or some nun instructed us to pray. Unlike the Pharisees of old who sought attention for their contributions at the Temple, we don’t need to take any credit for serving the Higher Good.You know when you are doing a good thing . . . over . . .and . . . over . . . and . . . over . . . again . . .
You are serving another.
You are serving God.
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