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service or Service?

Unity’s Fifth Principle in essence says: If we want to reap the rewards of the first four principles, we need to put them into action. We need to live them.


Rev. Ellen Debenport in her book, The Five Principles says this: “What happens is that people who are living in principle notice their cups overflowing and want to give from their abundance.” (It’s worth mentioning that she is not just referring to financial abundance, but the consciousness of abundance.) They do not take action as much as they provide service. They see what needs to be done and begin to do it… when we are living the first four principles, service is the next natural step.” She goes on to say: “Service is not subservience, nor a chore to be dispatched. It is the divine in us touching the divine in another.”


What does this look like? For me, it’s a place of surrendering, of looking for the presence of God in each other, of experiencing God in whatever it is we are doing. When we bring this consciousness to whatever it is we are doing, we learn to be present for the circumstances of our lives in a very different way. It uplifts us, it uplifts the task, it wakes up our experience of the divine.


I was in the service industry for many years. I was serving people: food, wine, and at one point I was making seriously good table-side Caesar salads. But at some point it occurred to me that I was serving, but I wasn’t in Service. So I decided to show up with the intent of living the first four principles into being, with a consciousness of simply being of Service to everyone in my work place.


The result was miraculous. My co-workers started chatting and laughing while stocking tea or wiping counters rather than sabotaging each other and arguing. Frowning silent customers opened up and became talkative and jovial. It truly felt like the divine in me touching the divine in others.


And to my surprise and delight, I started making more money. And then my employer asked if he could have me trained to be his bookkeeper. And those skills led me to the bookkeeping job at Unity in Lynnwood, which in turn led me to being UIL’s Associate Minister, which in turn led me here to Unity of San Antonio. By showing up with the intention of living the first four principles into being, everything changed.


The goal of Unity of San Antonio’s service program is to provide many opportunities to practice this consciousness of Service with others who are also practicing. I invite you to get involved. Put this principle of Service into practice in your own life and experience for yourself the up-shift in consciousness that occurs.


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