Have you ever observed someone who is really wealthy, really smart, or really gifted, and think, “It must be nice being that person. They’re their own boss!”
There’s a great song by Bob Dylan, “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which contains the following lyrics:
You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Dylan’s song expresses a timeless truth: everyone serves somebody.
One of the dangers of achieving higher education is growing prideful and forgetting who we are and Who we’re called to serve.
Philippians 2:6-8 (NIV) reminds us that Jesus, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
Let’s remember that our academic achievements are meant to equip us for service in God’s kingdom. Remembering Who we serve keeps us humble, gracious, and patient. It makes us useful in our vocations. It keeps us from serving ourselves.
If we “gotta serve somebody” in our academic pursuits, let it be the Lord!