Can I serve others, self and God? It seems like a lot of work, trying to serve everyone, ourselves and God. But truly it’s not, we make it a lot of work, but that’s just our nature. We do things the hard way. We serve others or self first then God. We may think we are serving God, but I am sure if we really looked at it, we would see that God was second or even third on our list. We are human, we are selfish by nature. It is part of our original sin.
Adam and Eve eating the apple is not the sin, it was the fact that they put themselves first; they served themselves before they served God. That is the sin, the sin of selfishness.
God had given Adam and Eve all they needed; they had a personal relationship with God that we can only dream of. Think about it, they walked in the garden with God, talked to God, just like we can walk in the garden and talk to our friends. They truly “saw” God; we only see glimpses of God, little bits and pieces, nothing really.
We serve, in the community, in the Church and globally, but we must ask ourselves, who are we serving, ourselves or God. Are we doing it to lift ourselves up, or to offer praise and sacrifice to God? This is a hard question to answer, most of us would respond “I serve for God, not myself” but I would argue that that is incorrect, wrong or misleading. We serve for self, we serve to make ourselves feel better, to lift up our souls. God may be the reason we started out, He may be the reason we serve, but he is not the main reason, and He should be.
Few people ever get to that point in serves, the point where it is truly for God, and our own needs come third or fourth. Mother Teresa is one such person; Pope John Paul II would be another. And I am certain there are a few walking among us today. I would not be one of them, as much as I would love to say “Look at me as an example” I cannot, it would be a lie.
I try to always serve with a servant’s heart, but I fail, I fall and I stumble for I am human; I to seek to eat of the apple that our first parents ate from, it is our nature, it is what is expected. But I try; I keep moving, picking myself up and dusting off. Onward and upward, keep moving, keep trying and keep working hard. We are human, we are fallen and we are imperfect. It is who we are, and it’s the hand we were dealt, so we play the best we can.
Adam and Eve had to find a way to make it outside the garden, outside of perfection, and so do we. They had to learn how to cultivate a garden of their own creation, learn to harvest the fruits and learn how to share all they have gained. We must learn how to cultivate our own hearts, how to harvest our fruits and how to share the fruits of our labors with other. That is service that is what God calls us to.
Adam and Eve had the serpent to tempt them; we have our own serpents, TV, money, sex and so on, each a serpent of a unique quality. Each evil and good in their own right, it is humanity that corrupts them, turns them in to the serpents of today, each tempting us, urging us to eat of the forbidden fruit.
The fruit of self-serving is a fast producing fruit, self pollinating creating a harvest of many baskets full. Once again the fruit in of itself is not evil, but the addition of humanity, our fallen nature, turns it in to the serpent, and the forbidden fruit of our first parents.
We serve for self first, but we must always work at serving God first, then the work of being a servant will not be hard, it will be joyful, it will be work of great pleasure and satisfaction beyond anything we have ever known.
So do not despair, and do not give up, but rather keep working and keep serving, and keep praying that God will give you the grace to truly serve Him.