Someone once said,
"Joy is the flag flown from the top of the castle of your heart to show that the King is in residence."
I recently saw a documentary on royal servants and the history of some of the oldest and most famous castles of England. Royalty fascinates me, especially, historic royalty. Those kings and queens of years gone by, who left their fingerprints on Britain, on their enormous castles that they called home. I'm awed at the paintings hanging in those palaces and castles that are as big as an entire wall in my house! And hundreds of years old! The artifacts, the crown jewels, the enormous glittering chandeliers, the magnificent architecture of the arched ceilings and corridors! The grand splendor of such ancient and massive buildings cause me to stand in awe! My mind can't comprehend the wealth that those places hold within their walls. I would love to walk through those castles, stroll down ancient corridors, stand in the battlements towering hundreds of feet above the countryside below!
In the documentary, they were interviewing the servants of Queen Elizabeth. The servants are not paid well, and the living quarters are surprisingly bare considering the elaborate decor throughout the rest of the palace. The rules a servant must follow are extremely strict and must be followed precisely, exactly to the queens specifications! One butler made the mistake of saying to the queen, "Dinner is ready", instead of "Dinner is served". It caused the other royal guests to wonder where the queen got such ill trained help! The painstaking way the maids must pack and unpack for each guest staying at the palace would blow your mind! A detailed list of every box and suitcase is made and every item is repacked in the EXACT way it came out of the case when the guest leaves. The butlers even have a specific way they must walk...not too fast, mind you! In planning for a royal banquet, the entire staff begins preparations 6 months in advance!
But the thing that jumped out at me, and has stuck in my mind was the attitude of those servants. In spite of the low pay, the lack of gratitude on the royals part, the simple dorm like quarters, the strict rules and regulations that must be followed, the picky habits of their masters, and the list goes on. In spite of all that, the servants live for a glance in their direction from the queen. They thrive on the fantasy of working in a royal palace right under the very noses of real royalty! They strive for a job as close to the queen as possible. They long for a nod of approval from their queen, the fact that their masters noticed them in their lowly state. They have a loyalty for their sovereign, and if one should blab and reveal the royal family's "dirt", the rest of the servants consider him a traitor! They clean and scrub and wax to the best of their ability, not because its their job, but because their queen will see it, and will walk there, and they long for her approval. They love their queen and that is the driving force behind their hard, long and tedious labor day after day. And many times, they are never noticed, their work is viewed as "that's what servants are there for", and they never receive a word of thanks. Yet they keep working as hard as possible. Because its for their queen. Simple fact. The chefs never cook the food the way they think it should be cooked, even though they are world class chefs. They cook it the way the queen wants it cooked. Everything they do is done to please the queen. No questions asked. When the queen arrives at the castle, the flagman is waiting in the tower high above the castle for the exact moment she steps into the castle. A buzz of excitement ripples through the castle as the servants frantically prepare for and await her arrival. When she steps through the massive doors, the flagman raises one of the biggest flags there, a grand 12 by 25 ft clothe, to show that the queen is now in residence!
I began to think about how I serve my own Sovereign, the King of Kings. How often do we drag our feet when He asks us to do something for Him? "Get up on Sunday morning and go to church?" Oh, its so cold this morning! and we hit the snooze button. "Tell that person about Me." She might laugh at me! I couldn't do that! "Who will go to that country as my ambassador and tell people that I died for them?" Oh, I couldn't do that! I'd have to leave my....fill in the blanks. The Lord pours out His blessings on us, and we so often forget to thank him. We take Him for granted. We call on Him when we are in trouble. We serve Him halfheartedly. We grumble if we're given a job that is not glamorous, or when we receive no thanks from those around us. Bible reading is the very last thing we do at the end of the day and we're so tired to read TOO much so we search for the shortest Psalm and breeze through it to ease our conscience. And there is no JOY in most Christian's! We're too busy fussing and grumbling, or too consumed with earthly pleasures to even give our King a single thought! Church becomes a duty. Prayer becomes difficult because we no longer "know" our King, nor do we feel close to Him anymore. There's no drive to serve Him. And what service we do becomes drudgery, a duty we must perform because people are watching and we must put on a good show. Love is gone. Only duty. And when the love is gone from a job, you begin to get sloppy. You cease to give your best, your all.
I am guilty! I will be the first to admit! Its a shame that servants of earthly kings and queens do a much better job serving their masters than us Christians do for our Master! They have more zeal and love for their royalty than we do ours! And how many times does our King not only reward us for jobs well done, but also encourages us when we're feeling low, gives us a helping hand when we stumble, takes note of our tears and our sorrows. He always answers when we call to Him, He's always beside us any time we need a friend. He loves us when we don't really show Him the love He deserves. And to be honest, the Master treats His servants far better than the servants treat their Master! This is backwards! Love for our Lord should drive us to please Him daily! Our hearts should bubble with joy because the King is in residence in our hearts! We bear His name! We are not only His servants, but his child! He deserves the greatest service! Never in history that I know of did a kind give his life for his servant! And yet, our Master did just that for us. If nothing else, should that very fact not drive us to better service? He should be our reason for living. Everything we do should be done for Him, not for man's applause. We should give our best to Him even if we never receive a word of praise, or a nod of approval, or an acknowledging glance in our direction. That is the only reward those British servants get from their sovereign. And yet, our Lord is "preparing us a place" that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard". Windsor Castle is a shack in comparison to what the Lord has prepared for those that love Him. He's made us His child, royal heirs! What great reward for such undeserving servants!!! Oh, our Master deserves so much more! He deserves our best, our all. "I wonder have I done my best for Jesus, when He has done so much for me." Its a good question to consider...