Drip drip drip goes the cortisol. “Why did you spell it this way?” The senior lead asks as he waves one of fifteen hundred invites at you. The “Your Invited” waves like a malevolent omen over your now defunct efforts at doing a good job. Why did you spell it that way? You don’t remember making an intentional effort to misspell the word you’re. Yet here it stands. The real answer is that you are human and make mistakes. “I’m sorry” slips from your lips past the six people that proofed the invite before it was printed.
The senior lead relents with a disgusted look. He can’t fire you because your track record says, other than an occasional mistake you are a valuable team member. “I guess I will have to sort it.” He turns away to go back to his office. His suite fitting perfectly and showing off his sizable salary and status. He must never make a mistake you think. He takes three steps away from your desk trips, falls to the floor failing to catch himself. The mail cart and the person pushing it fail to see him. She makes an effective speed bump, over ending the cart tossing the person pushing it to the floor. The carts weight crashes into a cubical partition which in turn crashes into the very expensive copy machine, toppling it; which you will find out later costs a lot of money to repair.
As this chaos crescendos only three steps from your desk you are reminded we all make mistakes.
At another time in another place. The singer walks onto stage. Her branding choice had always been to be seen as a modern day goddess and based on the way the crowd is reacting she has accomplished that. They scream in worship as the light glints off of her gold sequined costume modeled after several biblical descriptions of God and a tiara made to look like a halo. The only problem this goddess loves a hot curry and the one she ate for lunch is catching up with her even hours later. A fragrance fills the air but not of incense being burned by worshipers but of digested Indian food. A backup dancer whences and remembers no matter what our marketing we are still just human.
A Church group gets together to have some fun together without the kids. To remember being adults and loving God is not always about serious duty but joy and enjoyment of that which he has provided. The coffee shop is nearly empty sept for couple of batistes and the lively group. A latte is delivered to the table. The attempted latte art though well executed has an unfortunate likeness to a certain part of the male anatomy. Even though the business of fortifying marriages and dealing with the eternal ramifications of a temporal life can be a very serious matter. The laughter of the group at the upstanding latte art reminds them all that the older you get and the more experience and seriousness you deal in the more you still lack maturity.
These three vignettes encapsulate a wonderful balm for the soul. They are a reminder that despite all our learning, our pomp, our arrogant visage of best selves actualization our perfectionism we are still one hundred percent flawed. It brings my heart joy in a world where people constantly try to “rise above” though money, status, and power we are all still just trying to walk up right.
Where is the joy in this?
Romans 12:3 in the Bible states
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
We can never rise so high that we rise above God or even to his equal. Yet here in this verse we see something with great purpose. We should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought but only in accordance with the faith by grace. Grace given by God to show how much he values us and through a faith also given to us by God. In this we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought but that the others around us are both elevated in their value and not above us at all. It smacks of respect both for ourselves and each other while also practicing utter humility. The tension is beautiful, useful and loving.
Also published on Medium.