Better than When We Found It

It might have been a mess when we got here. It certainly was far from perfect. What will it look like when we leave?

How will the impact of your presence affect:

  • The lives of those around us
  • Our community
  • Where we work
  • The world

We can’t expect to walk into a good place, but we can make it better than when we found it. We can’t expect others to do it, but we are not accountable for their actions. We are only accountable for our own.

We are here on earth to good to others. What the others are here for, I do not know.

Matthew Arnold

Feature photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Still Moving Forward

What a week! It has been a little chaotic both at home and at work. Home renovations continue. Our “study” now has a ceiling and a floor. Any week now and we will even have a kitchen. It seems like I am working longer and harder hours on my days off of work. Request from other departments and equipment failures have increased my load on the job. Less down time results in less thinking time and even less eating time (that might not be a bad thing).

In addition, I had a Monday evening meeting that ran late. And on Tuesday, I became the new Parkour instructor at my boy’s gymnastics facility. I am down about an hour of sleep at night. My reading has taken a hit. And then there is my writing. My post on Monday never happened. It wasn’t ready. I continued to work on it when I should have just let it lie. It was one of those pieces that would have been better to let percolate for a while. Instead of moving on, I kept coming back to it. Now I have gone almost an entire week without one post.

This week in summary was filled with planned diversions and unexpected distractions. Today is Friday and there is something amazing about it. Not that I can kick back and relax, but that I survived. I am still here, and I am moving forward. The week didn’t go how I planned. I didn’t finish everything I hoped to. It is okay. I am okay. My feet are still travelling the path. There may be obstacles in the way. They can slow me down, but I won’t let them stop me. Instead, I will let them help me become better. I will let them mold me into the thing I want to become. This is my faith. I will be neither deterred nor disheartened.

Life is not a having and a getting, but a becoming and a being. –Matthew Arnold

Talents and Mastery

Use your gifts faithfully, and they shall be enlarged;

What are my gifts? This is not a time to be self-deprecating. I have to take a moment and figure out what gifts I have been given. Are there any areas where I am naturally talented? It isn’t an easy question. I can easily see the gifts in others. I can do many things well, but really talented? Maybe my gifts are a smattering of a bunch of different things. If so, then this is where I will concentrate and faithfully utilize my smatterings.

What if I have no gifts? What if there is no natural talent bursting from within me? No worries. I must do what I can with what I have. If I am faithful in these little things, who knows, I might be able to see where my talents reside.

Practice what you know, and you shall attain to higher knowledge.

As Augustus Octavius said, “Practice, the master of all things.” A practice executed daily becomes second nature. Practice makes us better and makes the execution of difficult tasks much easier. Can we advance to more complex tasks without practice?

Running has always been a struggle for me. I had no formal training growing up. In the Army, I became faster and could run longer, but it was still a struggle. Over the last few years, I spent more time practicing my technique. I became more conscious of bad habits. Am I a great runner today? Not at all, but I am a better runner than I was when I was younger. In no way am I faster, but I can run longer. I enjoy it more, and the toll on my body is not as severe as they were back in those Army days. Why? Practice, the master of all things. The more I run, the better runner I become.

Running is not a gift, but it is something that can be practiced. If I can practice the hard things, how much easier will it be to practice the talents I have been given?