“How important is…” The question was not really a surprise yet I still found myself reflecting before I answered. How important are the visible status items to me? Does my age make a difference in how I answer? Is there a politically correct answer that is out of sync with my heart’s answer?
Each time I hear the question my mind is transported to a heated exchange in a small San Francisco church. The subject was donations and where the money was directed. A prim and proper woman questioned the reality of her monies being used for mundane expenses. She thought her monies should go for exciting items.
As the intensity of the conversation grew, a small elderly Chinese doctor stood up. “I would like to offer you the following idea. Your money can go to any prestige project of your choice. I am quite happy that my money goes to have the garbage collected, the lights turned on, and for water to run in the toilets. Frankly, we need these more than we need anything else.”
The room then and my mind now were silent. Is an arbitrary title, place to sit, or formal reporting lines that critical? If so, why? If not, what is important?
As I thought about my answer, I realized that the question begged for a bigger answer. What I am not is not as important as what I am. I needed to respond with the larger story.
A wisdom father responded to the same question in his day; “It’s not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues. And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts.” (1 Corinthians 12.30)
Today is open to a story. The question sits in your life and mine, asking for our answer. How important is… I want to tell the big story. The rest can take care of itself. Life is about more. It is about possibility and reaching for something better. We have the freedom to choose.