Look at me?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Are we ever too good, talented or successful to deny that honest good work is what brings success; not what we’ve achieved but what we are doing at the moment really makes all the difference?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

A number of years ago I put together a press release for the nonprofit I was working for. I had been trying for weeks to get a feature printed in a local newspaper; one that highlighted the work that I was doing with the agency. Having carefully written the story and making sure that the proper photos were provided for, the wait was on. Would the local newspaper print the story? Would they even print it with the photo? I supplied the newspaper with several high definition photos, a neatly printed and well edited story and a digital file as well. The goal was now in sight! What I had worked so hard for, was suddenly staring me in the face and it was so

great to have achieved what I had worked so hard for. The paper printed the story with the pictures. Potential realized, the prize won, perhaps now, I could let up a bit.

When I opened the weekly paper and found the story and the picture on page two I was, needless to say, delighted. You might even say I felt a little puffed up, as a feeling of self-satisfaction quickly coursed through me. The work had paid off. The critical writing, the careful photography, and even the packaging of all this in an envelope that was hand delivered to the paper. As I looked at the feature I nodded with approval. There was the story, every word I had written, and the pictures looked great. Needless to say, I went to the office that day feeling pretty good about the whole thing. The hard work, the perseverance had paid off. My confidence had been stroked and it felt pretty good. As I headed to the office that morning, unlocked the office door and turned on the lights, I walked over to my little office and put the paper down on my desk right next to a sticky note that read, “Don’t forget! You need to pick up stamps today. The office toilet needs to be cleaned.” My soaring spirit landed with a thud.

Golf immortal Arnold Palmer recalls a lesson about over-confidence: “It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, ‘Congratulations.’ I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven’t in the 30 years since.” (Carol Mann, The 19th Hold, Longmeadow.)

No one is too good, talented or successful to deny that honest good work is what brings success; not what we’ve achieved but what we are doing at the moment makes all the difference. Humble task or not, it really doesn’t matter. By the way, I did get stamps and, yes, made sure that I cleaned the toilet. The Bible tells us that no one is too good for hard work. When God calls us to get our fingers dirty, there’s no time for resting on our laurels or thinking about the great things we think we have done. Sometimes toilets and stamps can be very important; especially when they keep us safely anchored in God’s reality of purpose.

We pray. Heavenly Father, it’s so easy to become puffed up when we consider the success of the things we do are based on who we are and what we do. Help us Lord to remember that there is no place for pride in determining goodness or greatness in our lives. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to be puffed up over anything we might do in life. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!"

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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