My favorite quote recently is from the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu: “Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work and then step back. It is the only path to serenity.”
I realize that ten times, twenty times, fifty times a day I catch myself caring what others think of my decisions. Of my thoughts, even. Even now I care what you think of me quoting a Chinese philosopher! Shouldn’t she be quoting the Bible? From a practical standpoint, such cares get in the way of ministry, like the chain constantly falling off the bicycle. From the spiritual standpoint, such cares get in the way of everything.
To do my work and then step back is to trust in the endlessness of God’s patience, the abundance of God’s grace, the consistency of God’s goodness and, as Julia Cameron calls it, the divinely driven pace of time. To think how small my life is in the grand scheme of all things is a comfort actually. And yet, to do my best with and for the people alongside me is no small thing at all.
I pray the day treats you gently. Be gentle back to it all the same.
~ peace & prayers,