By Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
A wealthy person was working with his lawyer in preparing his will. The lawyer was impressed with both the amount of money the man had accumulated and the number of servants he had. The man had many people to attend to his every need, including drivers, butlers, house cleaners, and gardeners to tend to his estate. The man was proud of how many people he employed to serve him. He felt it was a sign of success in life.
When the man finally passed on, he waited for his judgment. He felt he would receive a good placement in heaven because he had been so successful in life.
When his turn came to be judged, the angel looked over his records and reflected on what he had accomplished in life.
After looking through the entire record of this man, she declared that he did not merit time in heaven.
“What do you mean?” the man exclaimed. “Didn’t you see how successful I was and how many people served me?”
The angel replied, “For entry into heaven, we do not keep records of how many people served you. For entry into heaven, we only record how many people you served. Unfortunately, your entry into heaven is denied, because in your life, you only served yourself.”
This story illustrates a powerful lesson. Many people focus on amassing their own empires and estates, thinking this is the true purpose in life. Yet, they disregard the purpose for which God made humanity.
True human beings live for others. Some scriptures say that if God wanted only devotion, the angels were there for that purpose. God wanted to create beings that would serve others, and thus God created humans. It is clear from the story that service to others rather than service to ourselves paves the way for our return to God.
Consider which people from history humanity best remembers. Are they the people who had others serve them, or are they the ones who served others? If we scan the pages of history, we find we do not remember or honor the emperors and kings who lived during the time of Jesus Christ. Such kings may have had large numbers of slaves and servants catering to them, yet we remember Jesus Christ because he was one who served others. His life was one of sacrifice and service to the suffering souls of his time. Into which category do we wish to fall when our life is reviewed at its end? Do we wish to go into the spiritual realms after this life ends with an empty list of those we served because we were more concerned with having other people serve us?
Selfless service opens our hearts to love and helping others. It makes us an instrument of God’s love by providing for all of God’s creation, whether other people, animals, or the planet. In serving, we develop qualities of giving, caring, and loving. Serving selflessly helps to eliminate our ego and our selfishness.