Maybe I’ve gotten the meaning of freedom all wrong. After all of the hullabaloo last week about freedom and breaking free, I now write about ‘freedom in service’? Well, maybe I haven’t gotten it wrong.
First of all, let’s not confuse ‘service’ with ‘servitude’. The latter connotes obligation, forced work for another. Service, however, is a choice. Let’s explore the virtues that accompany each.
Love: In servitude there is a clear difference between parties. There is a master, and there is a servant. The master demands the obligation of the servant; the servant has no choice in the matter and so, gives. In service, on the other hand, the relationship is as between equals. There is no forced labour, no demanded obligation. The one who serves, gives willingly. The one who serves from the heart, does so with love – viewing the other as a peer, as a compère, as an equal. In service, there is the freedom to offer with love. In love, there is parity; in love there is an awareness that we are fellow spirits, journeying along this plane towards our individual yet over-lapping goals. I serve you in love, offering you what I have in full humility. In this symbiotic arrangement, there is freedom, because in this symbiotic relationship, we both choose.
Peace: In servitude, there can be no peace. If my obligation if demanded, I wrestle with myself. If I wrestle with myself, there is little room for peace, wouldn’t you say? On the other hand, in service, there is freedom to choose, and because I choose to serve, I do so in peace. I do so, knowing that what I offer is a decision that I have made. In choosing to serve, I extend peace and that peace cannot be shaken.
Joy: I find joy when I choose to serve. I find joy, because it is what gives me fulfilment. It is where I connect with myself. In connecting with myself, I connect with you. When we connect, my joy passes to you. My joy passes to you because it is bubbling over. What that means is that it has already filled me and is now flowing over to you. My joy is renewed each time I serve you.
So, there is freedom in service for service is a choice. In that choice lie love, peace and joy.
A bit of a twist…perhaps. But a twist served with love, peace and joy.