It’s funny how first thoughts upon arising from sleep sometimes fit into the message for the day. That’s one way I know how the concept of inspiration can be defined. Here’s my example. I woke up this morning one minute before my alarm was to sound. (That in itself is always a welcome surprise!) As I rolled out of bed I thought that my first line in today’s message would be: “Short stories this morning, friends; I’m on kitchen duty this weekend and people will be waiting for breakfast!” (We have a weekend workshop here at the Spiritual Center and it’s my turn to prepare the meals for the participants.)
With my first sip of coffee came the first line of the first reading for today (from the first chapter of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians!): Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters (1COR 1:26). The gospel acclamation reminds me that Jesus gave more than a hint of what that means in his statement – that he called “a new commandment“, saying Love one another as I have loved you. (JN 13:34) And then the gospel (MT 25: 14-30) finishes by warning me not to be like the servant who buried his talent in the ground for fear that he would fail to increase it.
I’m not planning on creative meals this weekend; the menus are already set, tried and true offerings that have been successful here and recipes that are easy to follow. So the service I give needs to spring more from who I am, with and for the people who have come seeking an experience of their “higher selves.” I will have to serve up a full complement of welcome with their pancakes and eggs this morning, a cheerful sense of abundance with the salad bar at noon and an outpouring of love with dinner that includes the sweetness of smiles with dessert. Luckily I have my good friend, Carol, with all her natural generosity and willingness, to help me do the “job.”
So off I go to this welcome task, knowing the secret that service to the servants of God is wonderfully rewarding as long as it’s freely given. In such a mutual exchange, everybody wins!