As a young monk I sometimes worked for Bernie, the monastery’s cook. One day he gave me the job to wash and dry each vegetable and piece of lettuce for the noon meal’s salad. While I was working, I looked out the window lost in thought.

Bernie came over and whispered, “What are you doing?” I told him I was thinking about my theology studies on God. Bernie looked over the top of his glasses and said, “I never went to college, but I don’t think it is that complicated. Jesus was just a carpenter.” I said, “Yes, but Jesus is God”. Bernie replied, “Yes, but God decided to be a carpenter and live his life in service to others.” He winked at me and said, “Now finish the salad, our hungry brothers will be here soon.”

During the silent meal, there was slurping of soup, the sound of forks on plates, and smiles on the contented faces of my brother monks.

I thought to myself, “Just be of service to others….
Could it really be this simple?”