Gotta Serve Somebody: Your Fundamental Option

Posted: July 13, 2015 in faith based, religion, spirituality
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Inspired by Bob Dylan’s, “Gotta Serve Somebody” You may enjoy listening to the song before reading the article:

This article is an excerpt from, “Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time” by, Charles W. Sidoti

“If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).  

The above quotation from the book of Joshua has illusion-shattering potential and requires a response.  The fact is that since I did not create myself there must be a power greater than me at work in the universe.  Many people believe the greater power to be God. Others see it differently, believing the source of life to be a kind ofuniversal creative life energy.  They do not believe in a creator God.  Regardless of what you personally believe, an entity or power makes the sun rise and set each day, the world turn on its axis, and the grass to grow. It isn’t me; and it isn’t you. Our place as humans, in a continually evolving creation, a creation in which exists the mystery of goodness, and also the mystery of evil, is a humble one.  The statement from Joshua asks us to make a choice about what our lives will mostly be about.  Will my life be about learning how to love, how to live in harmony with others and growing in awareness of my spiritual connection to all of creation?  Or will the focus be about getting what I want while looking out for number one?

As part of my studies to become a chaplain, I came across a fascinating term that echos the quotation from Joshua and brings us to the same question about life. The term is called fundamental option.  It means that each person reaches a point in which they have a fundamental choice to make about the overall direction of his or her life.

There is a comforting aspect to the teaching of fundamental option.  Once a choice is made regarding one’s fundamental option (overall direction) it is difficult to change direction.  Once made, it is like a spaceship that blasts off from Earth, gaining speed and momentum as it travels.  As the spaceship’s motion is set, it may get dinged or bumped a little off track but its growing momentum and its overall direction is not easily changed.  In this same way, if I choose for my fundamental option in life to become the person God calls me to be and commit my life to that purpose, I can trust that the overall direction of my life will lead to continued spiritual growth and ultimately to God.

Bob Dylan seems to speak about this same basic, fundamental choice in life in his song titled, “Gotta Serve Somebody.”  The overriding point that Dylan makes is that no matter who you are in this life – rich, poor, powerful, or just an average person – your life will, in the end, be lived in the service of a power greater than yourself.  Your overall direction in life will either follow the power of goodness, love, and light, or the power of darkness and evil.  Like Joshua tells us, “If it does not please you to serve the Lord, decide today whom you will serve.” How blessed we will be, living with renewed confidence, when we are able to speak from our heart with the prophet Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” or if you prefer, “the power of goodness, love and light,” and proclaim this choice as our fundamental option in life.

Connecting Point:  There is just no way around it.  Your place in the universe is that of a created being.  There is an additional element that comes with being human that is not found in the rest of creation, a conscious awareness of good and evil and of having a free will in relationship to that knowledge.  This means that you have a “fundamental option,” a choice to make about your life’s direction.  Today, think about who (or what higher purpose) you want to serve with your life.

Prayer:  Creator of the universe, and of my life, the very desire to know and to love you comes from you.  Increase in me that desire.  Help me to want to serve you, to choose you as you have chosen me.  Help me to know who I am Lord, in relationship to you, and let that be enough for me.  Let me say in my heart and to profess with my life, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Amen.

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