I subscribe to an online entity known as JesusHacks. I receive emails on a regular basis – some tips for attaining to Christlikeness, built around a specific topic. For example, http://jesushacks.com/9-ways-jesus-would-run-a-business-the-right-way/ And I always learn something that I can put to use right away.
Every Friday, Nei Samudre sends out an email with weekend reads for living like Jesus. It was there that I discovered this thought-provoking Op Ed piece written by David Brooks and published in The New York Times on April 11, 2015.
As I read what he wrote, I felt like I was in a steamy bathroom looking at a mirror that was slowly clearing up. A sense of catching a glimpse of myself in an unexpected way. This section in particular spoke to me. Perhaps it will resonate with you, too.
“This is a philosophy for stumblers. The stumbler scuffs through life, a little off balance. But the stumbler faces her imperfect nature with unvarnished honesty, with the opposite of squeamishness. Recognizing her limitations, the stumbler at least has a serious foe to overcome and transcend. The stumbler has an outstretched arm, ready to receive and offer assistance. Her friends are there for deep conversation, comfort and advice.
External ambitions are never satisfied because there’s always something more to achieve. But the stumblers occasionally experience moments of joy. There’s joy in freely chosen obedience to organizations, ideas and people. There’s joy in mutual stumbling. There’s an aesthetic joy we feel when we see morally good action, when we run across someone who is quiet and humble and good, when we see that however old we are, there’s lots to do ahead.
The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be. Unexpectedly, there are transcendent moments of deep tranquillity. For most of their lives their inner and outer ambitions are strong and in balance. But eventually, at moments of rare joy, career ambitions pause, the ego rests, the stumbler looks out at a picnic or dinner or a valley and is overwhelmed by a feeling of limitless gratitude, and an acceptance of the fact that life has treated her much better than she deserves.
Those are the people we want to be.” (emphasis mine)
Read the rest of David Brook’s observations and encouragements, here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/opinion/sunday/david-brooks-the-moral-bucket-list.html?_r=1
I’ll be busy getting around to building my eulogy virtues…