Wednesday, December 18, 2002

A Humbling Thought

This afternoon, as I was rushing like mad to finish a chapter so that I could turn it in as "done" on my 5:00pm report to the publisher, a thought was given to me quietly, gently, like a valentine that was sure to make an impact. The thought was "Don't *look* good; *do* good." I didn't ask for this thought (except perhaps in that continuous prayer I send out asking God to see my heart and remove any obstacles that keep me away from him).

Don't look good; do good.

Suddenly I saw myself clearly in a not-so-flattering light. I was working hard, but what was my motivation? To do the work well and honor my deadline, or to avoid looking bad to the publisher? I had to admit to myself (yes, and to you) that my motivation was that of a child: I didn't want the publisher to be unhappy about work I felt I should have finished earlier.

I could launch into a long diatribe about how our power systems (adult-child; teacher-student; boss-employee; law-citizen; pastor-flock) encourage division, judgment, and hiding by giving the majority of power to one and little or none to the other. When we feel we are in positions of lesser power, we feel vulnerable; we put on our fig leaves and try to hide. Smiling and "looking good" becomes really important, because we want those in power to approve of us (or at least leave us alone).

Equality felt and applied gives us the freedom to be honest, to tell people truthfully the way things are and how we see it. We can share our truth without fear or hiding. We can cooperate to make sense of situations and work together to resolve problems (even late chapters). It seems a much better and healthier (and God-like) approach to me. I want to focus on being an adult child of God, equal and safe with all other children of God on this globe. And I want to *do* good in my work and throughout my life, whether or not I *look* good doing it.

Blessings on your day! :) k

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