I was proud of myself today. I remembered to do something without being reminded, I found that I had thought about it beforehand (even though I had forgotten that I had thought about it beforehand) and had all that I needed in order to do what I had to do. I felt pleased that I had been able to complete what could have been a lengthy task in a matter of a few minutes because of the preparation I had done.
So is the thought today that preparation makes life easier (like ‘a stitch in time saves nine’)? Well it could be, but no.
Is the thought today that remembering things is important (with or without electronic reminders or knots tied in handkerchiefs)? It could be, but no.
The reflection I had was to ask myself why I was so proud of doing something that well organised people would have done without thinking. Why was I so pleased that I had achieved what I needed to do? It was not as if it was something I have not done before, and it is not as if it is something that nobody else ever does. Why was I expecting some sort of gold star or certificate of merit for doing something ‘normal’?
I think it’s because I surprised myself. I was not expecting to have done so well. I thought that I had failed to prepare and was prepared to fail. And I wanted others to know that I had done well. Pride was motivating me to elevate my ordinary achievement into the realm of the extraordinary. It can do that. We can assume that others may have the same low expectations of us that we have and hope that if we exceed them they will share in our surprise and pride in the achievement.
Before I get to introspective and start beating myself I remember too that God’s expectations of us are both realistic and optimistic. He knows what we are capable of, and he also knows that we are capable of not achieving those things. He knows that we can beat ourselves up when we fail, and overemphasising our achievements when we succeed. And his response to us is the same regardless: I love you.
That is not an unconditional love based on our achievements (or lack of). It is an absolute. Our value and esteem in God’s eyes cannot be enhanced in any way because it is already at maximum – I love you.
Be blessed, be a blessing
(At this point, are you itching to find out what it was? I’m sorry but that itch will remain unscratched!)