Service To Others
Service To Others
Sometimes we think of service as a one or two shot deal: serving a meal; making a donation; helping a neighbor who's ill. Of course these are wonderful opportunities to give of ourselves, but are they enough to enhance our personal and spiritual growth on an ongoing basis?
A few of the situations that might require more than a little commitment from us are those that require our time, talents, and treasure more frequently. All too often we find reasons to let someone other than ourselves take on the tasks that need doing.
A few of those responses sound like this: "I'm bogged down by work and family schedules. I can't possibly commit to another activity." "I don't have any talents or leadership experience that anyone would want or need." "The people doing the job now have it under control." There are also some very real treasure challenges: "That position requires expensive travel." "If someone asks me for a donation I'd be embarrassed to have to say no." "That role would require technical support. I can't shell out the money to have my computer fixed right now."
Many of us have valid reasons to avoid organizational volunteerism. So how can we talk ourselves out of our comfort zones and into the mostly self sacrificing efforts required by service to others?
First we have to see the need for the job that requires doing. We can almost always get that information from the person that is now doing or has done the job in the past. The people asking us for help are also a great source of motivation. Typically we'll be working with other people toward a shared and common goal, not always the easiest thing to do. But when our projects are finished and we've been able to overcome the challenges along the way, we will have a very real, very personal sense of accomplishment.
There most assuredly will be skills to learn in any volunteer position: sometimes seemingly endless opportunities for intellectual and personal growth. We'll want to overcome our fears of not knowing something and we will have to allow ourselves to be less than perfect. (Prayer, meditation, and support from others will help us a great deal with this.) We can get the knowledge we need, as we need it, from a wide variety of resources. And we should always remember that the divine wisdom of the universes won't let us down!
And what about our time? Hopefully our motivation has increased with the pleas and begging from others who have big holes in their organizations, and with gentle (or not so gentle) nudges from Spirit. With a little creative maneuvering, we can usually fit a volunteer opportunity into our schedules or adjust our schedules to fit the need. The greater our motivation, the more easily we can make it work.
Of course there's the issue of money. Sure, travel is expensive and donations can be unexpected drains on the budget. Pricey technical issues are almost always a nightmare. Sometimes we need to pick and choose which commitments we can become involved in. If travel is out of the question, we might be able to volunteer for an open position on group calls or Zoom links. If we truly desire the position that requires traveling, ride sharing and roommates can be life savers. As far as technical issues go, we need to check to see if we've got a trusted 15 year old in our family or among our friends that's willing to look at our internet/computer/tablet/phone for a small fee. We might be surprised at how much they know and how cheaply they work. Also the people we're re working with have "been there, done that." Of course they're willing to help us; helping us helps them too.
Now if all the rest of this article doesn't ring any bells for us, we should look at two last things. The first is that service to others is a very important part of any abundance that we will ever have. Giving of our time, talents, and treasure is a very real process that will add richness to our lives that we will barely believe. The second is that all forms of service hold a guarantee of personal and spiritual growth. Don't get me wrong; it's not all blue skies and roses. Our spiritual advancement may come out of some very difficult, very emotionally charged situations. The lessons we learn may fall under the category of tough love, or may even happen as a result of true heartbreak. But we will grow and we will be stronger. We will learn more about Love than we ever imagined: Love for ourselves, just as we are; Love for every other human being that was, is, or ever will be; and Spiritual Love of the Unlimited Divine Presence that guides us and moves us in every way.
So the next time someone, especially anyone in ADL, asks us to volunteer for a committee, a prayer group, a board position, or any of the other service roles that are available, we might want to hold back any automatic response and give the request some serious thought and prayer time. And saying "yes" just might lead us to the most transformative period of our lives.
Affirmation: I am now mindful of the intuitive guidance I receive when I am asked to be of service to others. With Spirit leading me, I can walk confidently into new opportunities for growth.
I now allow, acknowledge, accept and affirm that these things are so.
As a regular contributor to "The Rose", Rev. Rita's column "Sacred Thoughts" will feature her blog posts. She is a psychic psychometrist available for readings in person or by phone.
Feel free to contact her for details by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone or text at 352-284-8609