Service is basically one of my favorite things, ever. I have always felt called to serve something – be that other people or a higher power. So naturally I took to the idea of being a servant of the gods as Their priest pretty quickly.
I’ve always felt, however, that service to the gods was more than just a ritual function. I considered myself Their servant long before I ever thought about priesthood. Service was a way of life. It meant choosing to act in ways that would make the gods happy; doing things that I felt honored Them; and caring for Their people. I try to hold doors whenever I can to serve Wepwawet, for example. It’s a simple act, but it is kind, and reflects His nature well. I try to be compassionate but just, like Sekhmet-Mut – which sounds like a gesture of human decency, but perhaps that respect for Their children is itself a service.
It goes a little beyond even that for me, though. I personally believe that everything I do should be an act of service to the gods, so I try to make everything I do worthy of offering to Them. I believe my goals of being a psychologist, being both a healing and an ‘opening’ profession, are more than appropriate as an offering. I believe my efforts to become more involved in community service, to improve the world around me, by participating in service-centered organizations is also an offering to Them. I don’t really remember where I read it, but I once read a wonderful essay about shopping carts as a metaphor for working with Ma’at, and since then I’ve always returned shopping carts (or baskets) to the appropriate places, and said a quick prayer as I do, offering a simple slip of order in a chaotic world. (Edit: here is that link, thanks to Shefyt! http://www.bunny-puppy.net/folk/carts.html )
Of course I consider my role as a priest to be service to the Gods, but that’s honestly the least of what I do. That’s more the icing on the cake for me, as it’s probably the smallest part of what I could do for the gods. In my experience, They are of the opinion that offerings and ritual are wonderful, but they mean very little if there’s no Seen-World, non-Woo effort enacted to carry Their essence throughout the world. That might be a little bit of what Christians mean when they say they try to “live in Christ” – to live in that space of the Divine, carrying It through daily life. I think that’s the greatest service to the Gods of all – because then, when you go about your regular, every day whatever-it-is-you-do, you touch everyone you meet with a small part of your Gods, and you offer so many different things. That’s a lot more effective, I’d say, than sitting in a dark room with some candles.