The Pleasure of Serving


By Gabriela Mistral

All of nature is a yearning for service: The cloud serves, and the wind, and the furrow. Where there is a tree to plant, you be the one. Where there is a mistake to undo, let it be you. You be the one to remove the rock from the field, the hate from human hearts, and the difficulties from the problem. There is joy in being wise and just, but above all there is the beautiful, the immense happiness of serving. How sad the world would be if all was already done. If there was no rosebush to plant, no enterprise to undertake. Do not limit yourself to easy tasks. It’s so beautiful to do what others dodge. But don’t fall prey to the error that only Great tasks done can be counted as accomplishments. There are small acts of service that are good ones: Decoratively setting a table, Putting some books in order, combing a little girl’s hair. That one over there is the one that criticizes, this other one is the one that destroys. You be the one that serves. Serving is not a labor just for inferior beings. God, who gives fruit and light, serves. God’s name could be rendered thus: One Who Serves.


Accepting This – Mark Nepo

Yes, it is true. I confess, I have thought great thoughts, and sung great songs—all of it rehearsal for the majesty of being held. The dream is awakened when thinking I love you and life begins when saying I love you and joy moves like blood when embracing others with love.

My efforts now turn from trying to outrun suffering to accepting love wherever I can find it. Stripped of causes and plans and things to strive for, I have discovered everything I could need or ask for is right here—in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger, but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness, but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain, but we can live a life of compassion.

Ultimately, we are small living things awakened in the stream, not gods who carve out rivers. Like human fish, we are asked to experience meaning in the life that moves through the gill of our heart. There is nothing to do and nowhere to go. Accepting this, we can do everything and go anywhere.

An Excerpt from More Together Than Alone

By Mark Nepo

When atoms join, they form molecules.  When molecules join, they form organisms.  When organisms join, they form tissue.  When tissues join, a body is formed.  Unless interrupted, this is the unfolding of life.  Similarly, when hearts are opened, they form bonds.  When bonds are deepened, they form relationships.  When relationships are inclusive, they expand our sense of kindship.  When kinships are strengthened, a community is created….

These unions are more than a metaphor.  Our impulse to join is at first biochemical.  When atoms join, they become more together than alone, and life unfolds.  Those of us compelled to join become the building blocks of community.  When we combine with others, we grow into something greater than our individual selves. 

In his 1957 speech, “The Birth of a New Nation,” the young Martin Luther King Junior said: “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community.” For King, the solidarity of the human family makes the Beloved Community possible.  He believed that more lasting than any ideology or sense of politics, is the common humanity we discover through our love and suffering.  When two or more are joined by truth and benevolence, without doing harm, a lasting bond is created.  This is the atom of all community.

Photo by Wendell

Ventura Center for Spiritual Living

Be Love, Share Love, Serve Love.

Sunday Celebration 10:00 AM

101 S. Laurel Street
Ventura California 93001



Sunday Service - 10 am