I’ve been thinking what my word for 2023 will be. I had narrowed it down to a couple, and decided this morning that it will be “service”.
I have been learning about service over the past decade in my program of recovery, because the crux of the work around sobriety rests on the concept of service, but what that word truly implied hadn’t made the journey from the head to the heart until this past year. Now I know through and through, that my happiness, my stability, and my peace of mind all rest on my willingness to be of service, whether to people, animals, or my general environment.
I reflect on how much I’ve basked in the message of peace on earth this past Advent. I understand now that peace begins with our service to each other. Yielding on the road, holding the door open for the next person coming through, leaving enough for others…these are all small acts of service that can change how we feel, how we see the world, and can uplift others in ways we might not even be able to imagine.
Service for me at this time goes even deeper, though, because I am using it to correct grave error in my life, most notably, envy. Since I have made the journey from my head to my heart this past year and a bit, I recognize how service is the antidote for the pain that this character trait leaves in its wake. Therefore, service can at first seem too sacrificial. I have discovered though, that it’s actually freeing. I understand a new layer of what it means to give in order to receive, and that I really am truly free in Christ. I thought I would always be trapped in the cycle of envy which then moves into bitterness, anger and confusion. I gratefully now comprehend that through service, I can give all that hurt away in the form of abandoning myself in the sincere caring of others, and in that, I feel relief from the lusts of this world.