March 2008


I had lunch today with a couple of friends that I haven’t been able to spend much time with lately. The regular problems of too much to do, conflicting schedules, and the usual clutter in life. It was good to catch up and spend some time hearing about the transitions we’ve each been experiencing lately.

Sometimes it is too easy to get caught up in the turmoil of daily living and lose perspective. Occasionally it is critical that we just take some time to sit and listen, relax and talk, just remember how important those things are that aren’t clammering for our attention. Jobs are important - but we’re more than what we do. School is important - but we’re more than classes and tests.

Working today, as in the past, often involves being around people with whom we wish we didn’t have to interact. Sometimes we have to deal with people that are unpleasant. I’ve been there several times and my friend is trying to separate himself from a situation where that is the case right now. Often we should be reminded that the high road is the right road and we need to rise above our knee jerk reactions and impulses. We need to strive to be better than those around us. Not out of pride or arrogance - but instead out of our desire to be better than we are. The high road is less traveled for a reason - it’s a more difficult journey because it often goes against our nature.

We need to behave in a manner so that even our enemies must struggle to find something negative to say about us. When that happens, we win. No matter the details - no matter the circumstances - no matter the situation - we win. And winning that way is a good thing.

“Nobody raises his reputation by lowering others”
“Judge a man by the reputation of his enemies”

“They could find no corruption in him, because he
was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.”
Daniel 6:4b
It’s always interesting what you find in the Bible when you take time to consider the small things. Most of us want to see ourselves as trustworthy people. We don’t cheat, lie, steal, or do any of those other things that the world at large would deem wrong or corrupt. No matter your religious affiliation - or even if you don’t have any - most of the world would agree that we shouldn’t cheat, we shouldn’t lie, and we shouldn’t steal. All of the major religions in the world profess tenets that share a common ground here.

The interesting part in this verse is that trustworthiness involves more than just not doing the wrong thing - it also involves us not being negligent in doing the right things. We have to be cautious that we’re not failing to do the things we should instead of just being sure of not doing the things we shouldn’t.

Suddenly the standards are higher - the bar has been raised. Our responsibilities have increased and the consequences of our actions (or inactions) is now held in a brighter light. There is more to being good than just not doing bad. Just a thought.

“The greater difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” Epicurus

 

“Go now, write it on a tablet for them,
inscribe it on a scroll,
that for the days to come
it may be an everlasting witness.”
Isaiah 30:8

 

Looking back the few short decades of my own life I find it interesting how much has changed. I personally have known people who traveled to west as children in covered wagons and who lived to see man land on the moon. Many of us have heard folks talk about how exciting it was when electricity or the first telephones came to their own small towns. We often forget that for thousands of years life was fundamentally the same for the vast portions of humanity. We’re so wowed by the technology that has burst on the scenes in the last few years that we need to realize that the really important things in life haven’t changed.

In an era of instant communication, instant gratification, and instant access we need to remember the importance of God, faith, love, family, compassion, charity, and time spent with those we love. Taking time to get our perspective re-centered is important. We can’t let the smoke screen generated by the expedient obscure our view of the important.

Why is it that we often leave certain important activities undone until it almost reaches crisis mode?

Today I spent the day finishing up some things that had been left over from that past several months. It feels good to finally get it off my desk and I can’t imagine why I didn’t get it done quicker.

“The organizational meeting of the procrastination club has been put off until next week”