Hello (hello, hello)
Is there anybody out there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone at home?
*Cough, cough* Sorry, it's a little dusty around here. Looks like no one's written a post in quite some time. This won't be much of one either, but I want to write something before I forget.
A co-worker was lamenting recently about how his messed-up past keeps haunting him, following him around, and he feels sort of branded by it. I knew about some of his problems already but he spent the next few minutes filling me in on some more. He feels trapped by things he's done in the past, and like people now see him as a certain type of person because of the things he's done. It occurred to me that an important lesson Confucius taught me might apply here, with a twist.
Confucius said, "Don't concern yourself with getting recognition. Rather, concern yourself with being worthy of recognition". The twist obviously, is that in this case, the word "recognition" might be replaced with the word "acceptance". The point being that recognition (or in this case acceptance) shouldn't be the goal, but self-improvement.
Well, he dismissed that right away because he doesn't buy into that Chinese philosophy stuff. Okay I suppose it is that, but I just see it as an interesting bit of wisdom that can help get you through some things that don't seem to make sense. It seemed to make more sense after I re-framed it in a Christian context, like an old man/new man sort of thing. You can't change who you were, but you can change who you are and who you will be. You can't change what you did, but starting now you can change what you do.
The past is always there, but it is the past and not the present. Talking about this co-worker's situation reminded me of the freedom I've gained since becoming a Christian, and it reminded me again how sweet grace is.
Labels: christianity, Confucius, grace, introspection, sanctification