The three wise monkeys of good works


When is it right to stay? When is it right to go?

I think there is no “right”.  No right moment.  No right sign.  No clear indicator.  No clear anything.  I think when it comes to “mission” or “kingdom work” – or all the other labels we give “good works” – the “right moment” is hidden by guilt.

So right becomes inertia becomes wrong becomes maybe becomes later becomes never.

I wonder if that is the root of sacrifice, of duty, of burden. The three wise monkeys of good works. Maybe. Later. Never.  All wrapped up in guilt. Guilt that my personal preferences are coming above my godly duties and responsibilities. Guilt that my personal preferences are the sins of laziness, sloth, personality clash, lack of interest, lack of adrenalin.  Guilt that I shouldn’t even be thinking like this.  Not really.

This “right” is real. This one bites. This one I have pondered.

And as I sit here poking and prodding, analysing and speculating (and feeling guilty) …

I sense God Soft Hands Jesus finding merriment in my confusion.  I hear the tinkle of amused laughter.  The sound of One inviting me to see how seriously I am taking me rather than Him who doesn’t take Himself seriously at all.  But I feel the affection of love. The concern of love. The “real” of relationship.

And I wonder this.

Is this really a stepping away – or simply a stepping closer yet to GSHJ?

Because when it comes to “working for God” … am I really the answer to God’s prayers?  Am I such a crucial lynch-pin that all will collapse as I step back?  Is that in any way of any import to the Indwelling Being I feel with each breath I take?

I sense that deep-down chuckle means “no”.

So if deep inside I feel a pull away from something – if that sense has a confidence – a harmony – a unity … Just who am I “letting down” if I step back from this “work”?  My GSHJ or those I fear will judge me?  Those who remain and have to fill the gap left by my exit – those I consider friends – but more than friends – those I am meant to consider as family.  For we are all one family.  And family stick together.

But does sticking together mean “literally” – literally doing the same thing for years  together.  And is stepping back really “letting the family down”.  Or is staying an introduction to the three wise monkeys of good works:  Maybe.  Later.  Never.

And might that mean this God “we serve” has to cope with another layer of distance that I create. The distance of “must do” – the distance of “don’t talk to me now I am busy (working for You)” – the distance of the servant becoming the boss.

I am thinking aloud.  I find it helps clear the cobwebs.  Clears the hearing.  Sharpens the seeing.

Because I wonder if “never letting others down” is sometimes “letting myself down”.  That all this “following” we talk of is just that … “talk”.  I wonder if “sticking with it because I must” is less to do with God – and more to do with me (and my guilt).

Because I have no alternative calling, no obvious alternative mission, no immediate “good works” elsewhere to attend to.  In fact – if this is guidance – then it is another step away from good works of any kind.  A retreat from anything of sacrifice and burden at all (and you know what they say about idle hands).

Which I think is just more guilt.

.

Odd how having found fear to be the biggest enemy of love – I find (again) that guilt is really good at “sticking with it”.  Because how can I be “free to become love” if I am tied to “good works” by guilt?

And if I am tied by guilt – am I really “doing good works” from love … 

Or from guilt?

.

NB:  GSHJ is roaring with laughter again – very loudly!

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3 thoughts on “The three wise monkeys of good works

  1. As ever, I feel there is much wisdom in your musings.
    For me words in these sort of places can cause as many questions as answers. (which is why I usually make such a mess of using them).
    Feelings might seem to be better, but I’m not sure they are. Feelings are all about me and that’s not what it’s about and, as you say, guilt oh so often rises to the top of the pile. What use is that? Guilt, as a feeling, is not the right foundation for anything very much if worth.
    Being might be the best test point. Being is about honesty; being true to God and true to myself. Integrity – not just inside me, but in my relationship with God and the rest of my family – will give me confident freedom. No worries; no guilt; certainly no ‘letting others down’.
    It allows us to live together as one family, in love, and in agreement or disagreement; satisfaction or frustration.
    Thanks for your shared thoughts which, as always, do the great thing of giving me the essential luxury of thinking aloud myself.
    So “ these three remain: words, feelings and being. And the greatest if the us being.”
    Bless you, brother!

    • Keith – thank you.
      I can only go with what I have – and a long time ago I was given a theory that we prefer to live by one of three “beings”: visual, logical or sensory. As with all theories the reality is a blurring of the lines and exceptions to the norm. But I have found some truth in that. That our “receptors” favour one or another of those three.
      So where does “being”sit in that?
      I wonder if “being” is our own personal balance. That however we monitor our own being/balance we fall back on one of those three mechanisms.
      As for feelings?
      I have found the feeling of pain when my I cut my finger to be a helpful piece of feedback. I have found the feeling of love a helpful indicator. I have found the intuition/feeling of imbalance useful to explore what was not obvious right then.
      So I think if I were to speak to one who lives visually, they might well revise my/your list (as I would yours and you have mine).
      I also think that diversity is our strength if we allow each to be strong/in balance. And I wonder if it is the need for conformity (or even the comfort of having others “operating” with my preferences) that unintentionally disables some in preference to others.
      I hear that usually called a personality clash.
      I am not sure it is that simple when hierarchy is involved.

      • Interesting! I’m sure you’re right about balance. One of the things about feelings (similar to the sense of smell!) is that they can be very overpowering – which can be great at times, but I guess that can also generate an imbalance.
        What you say about how two people “being on the same wavelength” can be cultivated is an interesting thought. I think the combination of us, as human beings, having the odd imperfect and/or inefficiency, together with a need to often make the simple complex is a recipe for frustration!
        All part of the rich tapestry – just don’t look at the lose ends of thread on the reverse side!
        Blessings.

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