Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Forums » General Discussion

Sam'a Saturday Sayings: Virtuous Life

  • October 26, 2019 7:41 AM PDT

    Good morning, everyone!


    One thing people I think take too seriously is their own opinions of themselves.

    "Am I a good person?"   "Am I a good Christian?"  "Am I a good employee?"  "Am I a good parent?"  "Am I a good _______?"

    I think people ask themselves those questions based as branches off one question in and of itself: "Why am I here?"


    If you can answer that question with absolute certainty, then you know a lot more than I do; and I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers.  Sometimes I may joke and say "I'm here because my parents forgot to make a trip to the drug store that night," or something like that; and that all gets a laugh.

    But jocularity aside ... people may ask themselves those questions all the time.  And indeed, some even get stressed out about them.


    Here's why none of those questions even matter:


    We're all here in this life for a very short time.  We all have our loves, our wants, our vices, our longings, our yearnings, and everything.  Some of us manage to be lucky enough to check off every item on our bucket list.  Some, only get a few done.  And that's okay.


    A friend of mine came to me in earnest once, and sad, "Rev... what does it all mean?"  And I said to him, "What do *you* mean?"   He asked, "Why am I here?  Why are we all here?  Am I a good person?  Am I good enough?"

    I took my friend off to the side, obviously having some kind of internal crisis, and I said "Talk to me..."   And he unloaded, he unloaded on his internal stresses of percieved mediocrity, of being unsure of where he is in life, and if he was generally "good enough."  I could tell he was really questioning his self-worth.  Life seemed to be beating him up a bit.  I asked him a simple question: "Well... at everything you do... are you trying your best?"

    He said, "I think so, yeah.  I mean, sure, there's room for improvement."

    I said back to him, "Well, that's all anyone can ask of ourselves.  Try your best.  There's always going to be someone quicker, faster and smarter.  That's how records get broken.  But as long as you know you're doing the best you can, with what you have...  you'll always be okay."


    A few weeks later, he was honored by an award from his employer, exemplifying his hard work and even got a cash award out of it.  His hard work and his dedication hadn't gone unnoticed.


    In our society today, we often treat circumstances and those surrounding  them, that go off without a hitch as "ordinary," and when things go awry, "absolutely haywire."  Those who toil in obscurity, when things go perfectly fine, often are not recognized, because "100% success" in service is now expected and mandatory.  Its easy to forget those who work hard to give us all something to satisfy externalities.

    What's the moral of the story, you say?

    One. Don't stress about those questions.  If you know you're doing the best you can...  you're just fine.

    Two: Take a moment to give a hearty "Thank you very much" to those who provide services to us.  What seems simple to us may be a big deal for someone who worked hard to give us something.  When you see the maid at the hotel, stop and give her a handshake, and say "Thank you very much."   Same with a fast food attendant.  Make sure those around you know something: that they matter.