Service is key to happiness

By Shepparton News

By George Deeble,

Euroa Christian Fellowship

Throughout the Bible there is continuing emphasis on us being servants. However, if you are like me you cringe at the idea of being a servant. Very few of us desire a life of servitude or to be known exclusively as a servant.

It is one thing to have a servant’s heart or attitude and be be willing to volunteer our time but entirely another to risk losing our independence and identity.

Albert Schweitzer was a brilliant doctor and musician who turned his back on a great career in order to serve his fellow man.

In 1913, he sailed to Africa, having rejected fame, money and prestige. His first hospital was an old abandoned chicken shed and his first operating table was the panel off an old cupboard.

On a trip to the United States, a reporter asked, ‘‘Dr Schweitzer, have you found happiness in Africa?’’

‘‘I have found a place of service,’’ he replied, ‘‘And that is enough for anyone.’’

Dr Schweitzer, through hardship and sacrifice, discovered what true contentment was all about through servitude.

One of the Rolling Stones’ first hits was (I can’t get no) Satisfaction. Leaving aside the appalling grammar, it is a sentiment that many, if not most, people feel even if they never express it.

People have discovered winning Tattslotto does not solve their personal problems. Nor does bragging about one’s possessions bring inner peace.

In fact, as an old proverb says, ‘‘If the crow had been satisfied to eat his prey in silence, he would have had more meat and less quarrelling and envy’’.

Serving brings contentment. Not the forced-labour-type of service, but service done out of a desire to unselfishly give of one’s self.

In the Bible, King David responds to the people who lamented, ‘‘Oh, that we might see some good!’’ with ‘‘Oh Lord, you have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound’’.

He knew that only by drawing near to God would he find complete and true satisfaction in life. And out of that confidence of knowing the presence of God in our life comes a desire to serve not for our glory but for the glory of God. With that attitude, serving no longer is a task but becomes a joy.