All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. --Galatians 6:4
One of the reasons we sometimes feel like our work is as worn and incomplete as a broken and decaying fence on an abandoned ranch is because we are more focused on the work of others than on our own. We all know what it's like. Our colleague is consistently late, or takes too many days off, or shops online without restraint, or fails to pull their share, leaving us to pick up the slack. Even if we’re not in an office environment, we can be critical of the plumber who shows up two hours later than promised, or the salesclerk’s incompetence in ringing up our purchase, or our child’s teacher, who doesn’t seem committed to addressing our concerns.
In countless situations we can find fault with the work that others do, and the raspy result is that our own work suffers. Because our attention is diverted from excelling in our own gift of labor, the value we place on it and ultimately on ourselves seeps silently from us. The self-respect that could so easily nurture our motivation, excitement, and enthusiasm for touching the world with the uniqueness of our being begins to feel as distant as the hazy horizon at dusk. We can regain that sense of personal satisfaction when our eyes and heart, soul and intention are re-directed away from others and back to our own arena of work. We will never become all that we can be if we are focused on the accomplishments or failings of others. We can only become all that we can be by finding and honing our own selves.
O God, let my gratitude for your creation of me be lived out in the way that I offer myself to the world.
These meditations by Renee Miller first appeared at explorefaith.org
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