Monday, September 22, 2008

The Message - Service: The Mode of Heaven

I was asked by a few people about the title of my blog - "Service - The Action Form of Love". Since those who asked are Twitter friends (Tweeple?), and this subject requires more than 140 characters, I decided not to tackle it there.

The idea that service is the verb or action form of love, comes from a book I love to read. It's a true story titled"The Message" by Lance Richardson.

In the book, Lance, a 40ish man from Idaho, has been plagued with illness for many years, has a minor accident in the driveway of his home on Christmas morning, 1998. To most of us, such a fall would be inconsequential, but due to Lance's poor health, the consequences are far reaching.

His hip broken, Lance spends time in the hospital, where he contracts pneumonia. His antibodies fail him. As his body succumbs to one disease after another, he finally slips the bonds of his mortal body, and is surprised to find himself on the other side of the veil.

While in a place called the Spirit World, he is met by Randy, his cousin, and several other relatives and friends. He is asked to bring a message back to the rest of us, which he struggles to do after his body recovers from the medically induced coma his doctors put him in.

What's the message?

Simply this:

America is falling apart. It was dedicated and consecrated to be a promised land, where her people were to serve God and serve each other.

When we turn away from God and His principles, we suffer the consequences. Wars and rumors of wars. Pestilence. Disease. Natural disasters.

And, to me, one of the most profound lessons Lance brings back to teach us is that "Service is the mode of Heaven", and "Service is the action form of love." Makes sense, doesn't it? The more we serve others, the less selfish we are. The less selfish we are, the more we get outside ourselves and serve others.

Can you imagine living in a society where everyone thought about their brother's and sister's needs ahead of their own? Our needs would still be met because we'd be served by others, just as we serve others. It's a heavenly cycle, rather than a vicious cycle. Sucn a society would be utopia - a true Zion. Our hearts would be knit together in love. Simply put, our lives and our world would drastically change for the better.

And we would again put ourselves in the good graces of our God, for as God, Himself has said:

"Return unto me, and I will return unto you..." (Malachi 3:7)

Now, please understand, I'm not perfect at serving others and my God. I am no special messenger who envisions himself at a pulpit telling you to shape up or ship out. I am a mere mortal man who believes the message Lance brought back. I don't believe it simply because Lance visited the Spirit World and returned. I believe it because it is an additional witness to what I already believe because of the feelings of my heart, and from the scriptures I read and love.

Understanding that, then, I invite you to try an experiment that I believe will change your life and the lives of those around you.

Serve.

That's all there is to it.

It doesn't have to be anything huge or time consuming or expensive. Just find someone to serve and do it. Get outside of your own needs even for a few minutes today. Feed an expired parking meter. Drop off some clothes to a woman's shelter. Read to a child or visit a nursing home.

You can do it.

As I've been taught and as I believe, when you are in the service of your fellow being, you are only in the service of your God.

Please pass this on.

James

1 comment:

Sean said...

Great post,

Service is what makes this world go around.

Both service to ourselves, and service to others.

Without support and service from and for each other we'd all fall apart.

Thanks,
-Sean