A friend dropped me a quick email to ask me how I was….
‘I’m good’ I replied.
At least that’s what I thought I replied.
A typing slip up, possibly freudian, meant that what what I actually replied was:
Oh dear. I appear to be ‘one ‘o’ short of humility’. (Is this akin to being ‘several sandwiches short of a picnic’?)
About six months into my vicar training I had a conversation with my spiritual director in which she did have to remind me that I wasn’t God. I hadn’t been suffering delusions of grandeur then either. Quite the reverse, I’d been bemoaning my seeming lack of impact. She reminded me that I couldn’t actually do anything and that most of the things I would have liked to have done ( eg convert 5 people and a dog on my way to church) were all God’s perogative.
She was right but that doesn’t mean to say that there is nothing for me to do. I’ve been reading Suprised by Hope by Tom Wright and the main way it has encouraged me is that it has helped me see that nothing I do needs to be a waste of time (apart that is from the things that are a waste of time – like biting your nails). Everything that is kind and loving to others, everything that glorifies God either by appreciating his creation, or caring for his creatures, everything that brings something of God’s grace and power into his world. It all counts, it’s all valuable.
Someone has recommended I read the sequel to this book which is called Virtue Reborn and is all about why what we do matters. I’m looking forward to it. Apparently it’s my job to ‘good’, not God (so that’s a relief). Not a prissy, pompous, holier than thou sort of ‘good’ that just gets on people’s nerves but a gutsy kind of good that reflects as best as I can who God is: compassionate, generous, passionate about justice, bringer of hope, lover of joy and beauty.
All of which adds a new level of meaning to my intended reply: ‘I’m good’.