I reviewed my day and made three imaginary check marks in my imaginary little black book.
- I donated a few dollars to the American Red Cross and scheduled a day and time in my calendar to give blood, check mark.
- I kept my cool, but stood up to a peer, who has a tendency to speak down to junior team members on our daily Microsoft Teams call. I reflect on how I was the new guy once and wished someone had stood up for me, check mark.
- Later in the day, I smiled and actually offered praise when the grocery store cashier chit chatted with me when I went to pick up milk and bread and a few other essentials for the weekend. Normally I’m more prone to grunt “yes” or “no” or avoid eye contact altogether. Today, I was actually friendly and, dare I say it, talkative with the cashier, check mark.
God’s gift to mankind
When I reflected on my day, I let out a smug little smile and thought to myself, “Yes, I’m a good person. Yea, that’s me, I’m the man.” If you’d have seen me, you would have thought I had discovered a cure (not the vaccine, but the cure) for the Covid virus, donated millions to fight homelessness, and found a way to bring about world peace. A living and breathing saint!
Of course, I have it all wrong. Good person? Far from it. I do a couple positive things, certainly nothing all that extraordinary, and I think I’m a nice guy. My faith tells me that heaven is the state of supreme, definitive happiness opened up to us by Jesus’ sacrifice, death, and resurrection. It’s all heady stuff, but try telling that to my bloated ego!
Let’s make it shine
I’m still smug when my wife comes home from work. I’m thinking about the best way to polish my halo in heaven. Vinegar, water and baking soda together work well on silver, I’m told Dawn dish detergent in warm water and a few drops of Ammonia work well on gold, but, what will work on my heavenly halo? I’m only half paying attention when my wife starts talking about the improvements that her special ed students are making and the challenges that her school faces. For the first time in his life, one of her students is making real progress and can’t wait to get to school each day. He’s excited about learning. My wife’s story has helped loosen some of my smugness, but I’m a stubborn one, I still feel good about myself.
Later, I scroll online and read about a disaster and see the sad blank stares of a mother and father. They started the day like most days, just trying to get themselves and their three children out the door and to school and work and ended it with their home decimated, their lives turned over, and family left homeless. I click out of the story and feel fortunate that my family is healthy and fine.
The tide turns the other way
Even later, I learned that a distant work friend will be facing another round of chemo and I feel for him. The news is a blow. He thought that the worst was in the rearview mirror, but he still manages to keep a positive attitude. He jokes that the time in chemo will be a great chance to catch-up on all of the books that have been accumulating on his nightstand.
When I finally turn-in the for the night, I’ve forgotten about my little check boxes and my little black book. I’ve forgotten about counting score, it sounds so silly, and am now just thankful that I made it through another day. I’m appreciative of the knowledge that I may not be as good as I thought I was, okay not even close to it, but God loves me anyway.