Thursday, January 8, 2009

Esteem whom?

Lawrence described himself as a great awkward fellow who broke everything. He had no credentials and no stunning resume to show off.

Today we’d probably put him in self-esteem classes.

Brother Lawrence was a 17th century French man who worked in a monastery although he lacked the education to be called a monk. He labored in the kitchen most of his life but had many conversations about his relationship with God that have been recorded.

His story can be seen more fully here.

He was an achingly-humble man in a way that we’d find uncomfortable today. Not only did he acknowledge his clumsiness, but he also recognized his failures. “When I fail in my duty, I readily acknowledge it, saying, I am used to do so: I shall never do otherwise, if I am left to myself.”

Am I ready to say that I’m used to failure because I will fail if left to my own resources? That grinds against my independence and self-sufficiency.

And yet, Lawrence didn’t melt away into despair at the idea that he would fail. He was also clear-minded in knowing that he didn’t always fail.

But his successes were not reason for patting himself on the back.

He said, “If I fail not, then I give GOD thanks, acknowledging that it comes from Him.”

Lawrence knew plainly that when he failed, it was to be expected for he didn’t have the resources to do otherwise. When he succeeded, he thanked God because that’s where the success came from.

Where does our success come from? And do we recognize its source?

The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.
Psalms 118:14

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