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Give – Day 16 – What is life’s deepest joy?

The habit of Selfless Service definitely contributes to the deepest joy in life.

So just what is life’s deepest joy and where is it found?

According to the amazingly inspiring Tony Robbins it is this: “Regardless of stature, only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution will experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.

I concur completely. I have never found deeper joy than when I have been lost in the selfless service of others.

So I have to wonder, why is it so hard sometimes?

I know it’s the most fulfilling way to live life, so why do I slip into a self-focused life so easily?

Here are some of the common obstacles:

– The demands of providing for a family.

– We feel our time is so limited with all the busy-ness of life

– Sometimes unsure of what we can actually do to help others

– We forget how vitally important selfless service is to a fulfilled life.

Limited Time is often the biggest of those challenges.

With our time so filled with the demands of taking care of ourselves and our families…where do we find time for anyone else?

The best way I have found to keep myself on track – and not slip entirely into selfishness – is through the building of habit and routine.

As discussed yesterday, the routine of planning and writing about service regularly is crucial for me.

If I don’t have that daily re-focusing of my awareness – I can easily let weeks or months slip by – becoming blind to many of the needs of the people all around me.

Writing is definitely important.

But if you go to any type of church or regular gathering in any type of small community group, here is another great way to easily enhance your habit of Selfless Service:

One of my sisters Emily told me that her husband Adam is a great example to her.

When they go to church each week there are inevitably opportunities to volunteer to help people in need…for example:

People who need help moving in or out.

People who are sick who need meals delivered or service around the house or help with their kids.

The church building needs to be cleaned

The youth group needs some volunteers for an activity

Emily mentioned that Adam’s habit and rule for himself is that every single time there is an opportunity to volunteer, if he does not have a conflicting commitment already, he volunteers by default.

She said it has been a major blessing in her life.

Having this habit has placed their whole family in the middle of service opportunities over and over again.

And each time they serve they experience the joy of true fulfillment as well as the deepening of relationships of love with the people in their community.

I was impressed by this commitment.

I couldn’t help but thinking of my own ‘habit’ of late to let the volunteer list quietly pass on by me all too often – because I ‘feel so busy’.

But as I examine it closer – I realize that I have always felt like there is more to do than I have time for…yet in the past I volunteered more readily.

I think I slipped out of the habit of volunteering when I got deathly ill, and I truly was in no position to volunteer.

Major life changes have a way of disrupting our habits.

In my case, I actually became the focus of most service projects in our church family for nearly 4 months straight.

That is an experience that changed my perspective permanently.

The amount of love people freely gave just blew me away…

…Dinners every single night, people watching our kids nearly daily, family members flying in for weeks at a time leaving all of their duties behind…

But even with that experience, knowing how impactful it is, and feeling deeply indebted to my community, my extended family, God and humanity in general…

…I still slip into complacency and selfishness and easily slide back into blindness of the needs around me.

So, if your human nature is anything like mine, let’s let Adam’s example be one more way we can set ourselves up to stay true to selfless service.

There are endless amounts of service opportunities that spring up constantly in a church or any other social community…

…Where there are people gathering, there are people with needs.

So think of the communities you are involved with regularly – no matter how small – where there are opportunities to volunteer…

…And consider adding the ‘I will volunteer’ rule to your life.

That one commitment could lead you to experiencing life’s deepest joy regularly in your life.

I know it’s tempting to convince ourselves we don’t have a minute of extra time…

…But most everyone of us who looks close will see things we spend time regularly on that are less important, and less fulfilling than serving others.

When we make a commitment to the best things…the less important things fall away on their own.

Make Today Amazing!