Let’s talk about service. I don’t know about you guys, but I struggle with service. I always have, and I probably always will. There are two themes always at play in my relationship to service, both of which have a huge influence but which also seem to stifle each other:
- Service to others is important, and I should commit to it regularly.
- Service to others is often tiring and inconvenient, so it’s hard to do it as much as I should/want.
Anyone else have this problem? On the surface, it looks like this is a heart issue, like I’m not really as committed to serving others as much as I say. Otherwise a) I wouldn’t associate service with tiredness and inconvenience, or b) tiredness and inconvenience wouldn’t be enough to keep me from serving. Right? Well, no, I don’t think it’s that simple. This is definitely a heart issue for many people, one with which I do periodically struggle myself, but I don’t actually think this is the primary issue in my case. No, this isn’t a heart issue; this is a mind issue. Continue reading “Small Ways to Live a Life of Service”
The Death of Ivan Ilyich, written by Leo Tolstoy, 1886.
Much of life is spent choosing between the outer, physical, material being and the inner, spiritual being. The nature of death serves as an intriguing dichotomy. From the physical perspective, death in and of itself is an unremarkable, inevitable event. Death is the epitome of conforming to the physical world, therefore confining oneself to the limitations of the physical body. However, death is also the pinnacle of relinquishing oneself from the physical and into the spiritual. While everyone must come to death, therefore everyone must ultimately be subject to the more powerful influence of the spiritual over the physical, everyone has the ability to resist spiritual transcendence, and it is in this choice of resisting the spiritual or resisting the physical that the nature of one’s dying process is defined. Tolstoy parallels this dichotomous competition between the two realms, as it pertains to Ivan Ilyich’s dying process, through his representation of time and space.
Continue reading “Death Has Personal Space Too”