“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King, Jr
The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book by yours truly:
Civilians are those who don’t necessarily contribute much of significance to the world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a civilian. They are valuable and contribute to making the world go round, but they more or less take up space on the planet. Again, this doesn’t necessarily make them good or bad people. They may have a nice ride in this life and provide others a nice ride, but that is all. They serve a worthwhile economic purpose. Although they are good consumers they offer little spiritual or creative insight in return. A civilian may or may not work hard and know much but they rarely grow or evolve. Sometimes they do no harm. Sometimes they do a great deal of harm. Some civilians are very neat and organized, sometimes they are a mess. Most get by just fine, living unremarkable lives. Some civilians have quite an impact and are very outspoken. To these civilians, other civilians may may be perceived as what are known as “sheeple.” They are often very certain they are right and that others are wrong. They seem to derive sustenance by having a limited world view.
Sometimes civilians appear to be colorful and eccentric, even entertaining and fun-loving. They may even make big things happen, build a business, an institution or become very popular, wealthy celebrities. But they often use hubris and take shortcuts to get what they want, rather than do the quiet work over time in their endeavors. And because they see the obstacles in their path as delays and distractions, keeping them from their goal, they suffer a lot of the time, even though they may appear very happy. They may develop a reputation but they will leave no real legacy. When they die, nothing is really lost, because while they lived they used, exploited and leveraged others, as well as themselves. What they built was an illusion. They were only attuned to their own needs, assuming there were many others who thought as they did. And they were right. They derived validity mainly from those who agreed with them. They often contributed, but usually with the expectation of return in some form or another. They appeared comfortable with their place in the world but they were nonetheless filled with want and resentment. To them, sacrificing for something larger than themselves was annoying and distracting. They were narcissistic and materialistic. Their ambitions controlled them. They measured success in terms of relative monetary wealth. But they died, never really haven given or received anything of consequence.
The Chosen are more rare. They are attuned to the quiet voice of God, even though they may not necessarily subscribe to any particular religion. They are not better or entitled. They are not rich or poor. They may be famous or die in obscurity. And yet they are called to greatness. Sometimes they are faint of heart. Sometimes they are strong. Sometimes they are afraid but they are always brave. But they are always powerful because they possess the fruits of the spirit: gentleness, patience, long suffering, kindness, self control, joy and peace. (If you skimmed over this list you probably are a civilian). They understand what it is to love, to be truly connected, whether or not they themselves are loved. They are present. Their mission and purpose includes the transformation of others as well as themselves. They discern but do not judge.
They understand themselves, and others, as sinners and realize there is no conflict in accepting things and people as they are. They notice things others don’t. They see differently and pay quiet attention to the world around them. They have a certain clarity and often possess a quality others wish they had. They are not enlightened because they are never finished. And yet they want for nothing. They have empathy but don’t presume to know what another is experiencing. Animals and children seem to gravitate to them. Their lives may appear much like that of a civilian. They are not secluded monks; they mostly live among civilians. They acquire things but they are not dependent on them for their happiness. They have passion for ideas but do not require agreement. They are content with simply being, even as circumstances around them change.
How does one become chosen? No one can become what they are not. We can only evolve more fully into what we already are. Personally, I believe many are chosen but few of us allow this light to shine. We feel cheated by circumstances and envious of others. We learn to feel entitled or undeserving, which are two sides of the same coin. We tend to put things over people, attempting to win hearts rather than simply accepting that we are innately lovable. In short, we become dragged down by ego and desire, identifying with a paradigm which limits what we believe has always been possible, and will always be possible, for ourselves and others.
Those who are chosen are on a journey with no particular destination. If you want for nothing but to know God, purely and without guile, without a selfish, dogmatic agenda, you will leave the realm of the filler and enter the abundant universe of the chosen. When you are willing to give up the pipe dreams which require the arbitrary actions of others and learn to dream as a child, who dreams for the shear enjoyment of dreaming, then you will find bliss. When you become a master server you will know freedom. When you return to that childlike wisdom of love and wonder and give up your childish desire that keeps you stuck in your headless ambition, you will know the inner peace of the chosen. How do you do this? You did this when you came into the world. What happens next is up to you.
Remember though, it is not all or nothing. One is not always chosen, nor is one always a civilian. There is often overlap. There is a choice in every moment.