July 12, 2020

The Shepherd's Corner

THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER

Years ago, John Ortberg, a pastor and author, invited Dallas Willard, a professor and author, to come and speak at his church. After the service as they were walking out to the car in the parking lot, John saw Dallas sing an old hymn. He just walked and sang; he did not even ask John what he thought about the talk he had just given. In John’s words, it was like watching, “a child let a helium balloon go.” John continued, “I want that in my body, and I want that in my mind—the ability to do something and then just let it go.”

I believe we all want that, too. We want to be able to do something and then just let it go. But, as we know it all too well, how hard it is to do something and just let it go. What we usually do is to go back to what we have done, evaluate it over and over, to make sure that we have done our best. Well, the truth of the matter is it is not only to make sure that we have done our best; it is also to make sure that others think well of what we’ve done. You see, behind the expression “our best” lies this need to be recognized as “the best.”

Once we learn that we have done our best and people recognize us as the best, we are usually calm. However, if we think that we have not done our best and believe that others think of us as not the best, we lose sleep over it. We cannot let it go; we keep going back to what we should have done or should not have done. We play that tape over and over and blame whomever—self or others.

In his last letter and in anticipation of his death, Apostle Paul wrote this to his spiritual child Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” There is no reference to how many churches he started or how many souls he won. No, he’s just content that he had done, not his best but rather his part.

Pastor Paul

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