I am absolutely blown away when I hear some people lauded for doing such a great job when the job they are doing is, in fact, not all great but actually sub-par. How do these people manage to get a reputation as “the greatest”, and more importantly how do they keep their reputation as the greatest in the face of not being anywhere near the greatest?
More to the point, why do people not see me as the greatest when I am clearly better than… Uh oh, this is not going where I wanted it to go. It’s not as though I don’t get positive feedback. I do. Quite a bit actually. Maybe even more than I deserve, and yet there are times I don’t feel appreciated. The truth of the matter is that I am the one who doesn’t appreciate myself. I look at the work I am doing and the hours I spend doing it, and I think I should be doing it better and getting more done. I think to myself: You had another whole hour that you could have crammed with work, or at least gone home and cleaned your house. Instead you went home and talked to your mother and then collapsed in a chair to read and write on your computer.
I self-medicate on the computer a lot. It’s cheap. It’s not the most harmful vice I could come up with. I can’t be available every minute of the day. I’m Candi not Gandhi. Or maybe more accurately, I’m Candi not Jesus. Even Jesus didn’t make himself available 24/7. The Holy Spirit might have thrust him out into the wilderness right after he was baptized, but he himself chose to go out into the wilderness several times after that. He needed the silence. He needed the time to himself to think and pray. If Jesus had owned a computer…. well, maybe not, but maybe…
What does Jesus expect from me? I think he expects me to wake up in the morning and say, “Hey, thank you, God, for this new day! Now what shall we do with it?” And then to face whatever the day throws at me with as much grace as I can, knowing that I am not alone but that he’s right beside me going through it with me. And also knowing that I just might need some help and that I should come right out and ask for that help, from God, from colleagues, from friends or family – maybe even from a stranger.
I am already the greatest. I am the greatest Candi that there is today. Maybe I can be even better tomorrow.
Today’s reading is Matthew 20: 17-28. Mrs. Zebedee, the mother of James and John, asks Jesus, “Would you do me a favor?” Wisely he asks her what the favor is before he agrees to do it. Turns out the favor is to let her know which one of her sons will be chillaxing on his right hand and which one on the left in the – you know – kingdom.
Poor Jesus, I can almost feel him longing for the wilderness. “Lady, you don’t even know what you are asking.” Not a satisfying answer for her, but really, who has the time or the energy to get into this again when he has just made a whole speech about getting to Jerusalem where he will suffer and….oh never mind.
Whoever wants to be great must be a servant. Whoever wants to be first must be a slave.
Well, when I got home from the Lenten Study tonight I did empty and reload the dishwasher after I heated up something for my mother to eat. I think I still have some work to do.