A birthday response caught my attention; “I am trying to step back from my head-long hurtle through today (and everyday) and get back to the basics…” The response is timeless. I can recall others expressing their similar aspiration five, ten, and even thirty years ago. I carry a vivid memory of a friend giving me advice along these lines when I was just turning twenty-five.
There are times in our lives where instructions help. Even though it feels odd, manuals help when I am trying to fix an appliance. Case studies and market analysis provide frameworks that improve the quality of my analysis of complex problems. In short, good ideas often rest in others and they are often willing to share.
One should never presume that when instructions are given that it is a commentary on abilities or approach. At times, it is helpful to hear a reminder of what you know to be true. When someone shares their views, one is able to assess how aligned s/he is with the other.
As I look back, I can see instructions being passed between individuals and individuals to communities. While the context is not always clear, the positive ways to look at it are. I can see Paul’s words – “Regarding the relief offering for poor Christians that is being collected, you get the same instructions I gave the churches in Galatia. Every Sunday each of you make an offering and put it in safekeeping.” (1 Corinthians 16.1) To me, it is a common sense approach that has a lot of value. I could look for a reason to debate however Life reminds me that working with others is always easier than trying to do it alone.
I am often caught in the day’s whirlwind. As I sit in the morning breeze coming in from the north, I am reminded that it is time to try to step back from my head-long hurtle through this day and get back to the basics of compassion, mercy, and community. A birthday wish came back as a priceless instruction. Thank-you.