Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Made To Serve

     I am a servant. You are a servant. Whether we like it or not, we are all servants. We can't help it; it's built into our nature, and there is no escaping it. Everyone is a slave to something, whether it be our passions, our jobs, our families, what have you. The only question is, who do you choose to serve? Christians are often ridiculed for choosing to give up their "freedom" when they choose to serve Christ, but the reality is no one is free from service. The self-serving man is still just as bound to serving as the one who chooses to follow Christ. The only difference is in the masters they choose. 

1 comment:

  1. If I might just bring out a further point that I think is implicit in what you say here. As the old Bob Dylan song says, "you gotta serve somebody" (and the whole song makes this point with reference to all different kinds of people). And yet, freedom is a reality; it is the capacity to give ourselves, and therefore the place where we experience our value as persons. Inevitably, we will "serve" -- we will give ourselves -- to what we love ultimately.

    There is a fatalism that would say, "Ultimately freedom is an illusion. We are slaves to progress, or the universe, or the tribe or the nation or the party, or the ideology, or our own animal instincts, or... etc. As an individual, I have no value. I don't 'count.' I have no personal destiny. I am just a part to be absorbed into the whole." [Getting philosophical here, stay with me... :) ]

    Christ says something different. He says, "the truth will make you free." God who is the source and the destiny of me as a person -- God who is Love -- is the only One I can give myself to ultimately without becoming a slave. We wouldn't want anyone to think that Christ is just one of the many options by which our humanity is smothered and extinguished. To serve the One who makes me (and redeems me!) is to enter into the relationship which is the very goal of freedom.

    So the drama in life is not only "who will I serve?" but also "will I serve someone/thing that is worthy of my freedom, that corresponds to freedom's desire for the infinite, or will I serve something that fails to satisfy my freedom and thus degrades me as a person and makes me a slave.

    Luigi Giussani puts it (more or less) like this: "Man is either a free person living in obedience to God or he is a slave of power and those who hold power."

    [Does this make sense. I'm dashing this off... would be happy to elaborate further.]