|Motivation for Service|
Love is the best motivation for service. Love for others and love for God inspires us to true service. Through selfless work for others, we broaden our love and direct it to the God in others. There is no way to serve God except to serve his creation. For what can we give to God? We can offer only our love, intelligence, and labor to those in need.
We endlessly pray to the Lord for his grace. But how can we expect to receive grace if we will not lift our hands to help others? We earn God’s love by our selfless actions. To progress on the spiritual path, it is more important for God to love us than for us to love God. We earn his love and grace through selfless service. Sai Baba sets an example of endless giving, never expecting anything in return. We must graduate from spiritual grade school and follow the example. How better can we repay our debt for the blessings we receive than by giving in turn to others? The stream only remains fresh when it gives away the water that it receives.
When we start, it is difficult for us to know how to serve. We must carefully appraise our abilities and choose an appropriate field of service. We must learn to be selfless and caring, but just as important, we must be effective and truly helpful. Our service should match our skills and training.
The quantity of work done is not important. What is important is that service is motivated by pure ideals. We should serve others as we would serve God himself. The one who serves must act without selfishness, anger, or greed. The servant must act without desire of reward or recognition.
There are many tests for practitioners of service. As in the other spiritual disciplines, the Lord tests us to see that our selflessness is strong and genuine. We must learn to serve despite criticism and obstacles. Our wills must be strong enough to over come ego and inertia. Obstacles appear to test and strengthen our resolve.