The difference between slavery and service is the difference between “Have To” and “Want To”. When “Have To” becomes “Want To”, then Samsara and Nirvana or Earth and Heaven become one, which is what Jesus referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven. This means that bliss can found in the most mundane of earthly activities. Osho calls this the power to say yes.
There are not many people who would argue the deep meanings of the word slavery. Slavery basically means you lose the ability to choose your destiny. The only things that could be argued would be what caused this condition, where fault lies, and the severity of the conditions but not the final outcome. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself one of the Israelites in Egypt or maybe you are just an everyday Joe who is struggling to make ends meet. Slavery is loss of choice.
Many of us consciously or unconsciously think of ourselves as being in some form of slavery. We Have To go to work and deal with whatever crisis, real or imagined, happens that day. We Have To care for our families, which can include meals, laundry, general housekeeping, and shuttle service to all activities. We Have To go to Aunt Greta’s for Christmas and keep up those precious family connections. Even our possessions have a hold on us for maintenance and refurbishing. Our vehicles alone require gas, oil changes, tires, and not to mention the cost of insurance. All of which require money, so now we are back to Have To work. Where does it end?
When the circle of energy is not complete, the soul is not replenished.
Life becomes a drudgery and the only hope is death and possibly Heaven.
Those who truly serve are choosing to do so. While the work is the same, it is the mindset that determines the difference. Before enlightenment, chop wood carry water-because I Have To. I does not matter if the reason for the work is the duty roster, the short straw, or just plain survival. After enlightenment, chop wood carry water-because I Want To serve the interests of others and myself. I want my family to have food to eat, a roof over their heads, and clean clothes. I want to be compassionate to the lonely old aunt who gripes at every holiday gathering.
Jesus washing the disciple’s feet was the ultimate service, because he chose this endeavor. They were shocked that the King of the Jews would do the work normally assigned to the lowest slave. Jesus was showing them that any job could be a service and thus divine in nature.
A true servant is one who thinks of the needs of others first. Do as Jesus told us, change your mindset and willingly give whatever is needed. Find a reason to Want To.
When you truly give, you shall receive.