Saturday, October 27, 2007

Do The Right Thing

I hope it is not plagiarism to use "Do The Right Thing" as the title of my blog. It is also the title of a Spike Lee movie, which I have not seen and therefore cannot comment on. And it is part of a thought that just came to mind as I wrote to a couple of friends: "Why is it so hard to do the right thing?" First of all we must know what the right thing is. I believe we often exaggerate the difficulty of doing so. Jesus let the religious leaders of his time know that they were being too anal when he told the parable of the good Samaritan. (;&version=72;)

All day long we walk up to people that have been beat up to one degree or another. All we have to do is give them some help. As for me, sometimes I do, and sometimes I am just too selfish.

This morning I sat in my comfortable easy chair, reading the bible, praying, and hurting. Nothing life threatening, just the still simmering withdrawal from oxycodone. Aches and lethargy are coupled with a sort of anxious feeling that something must be done to ease my suffering. Read, pray, lament. Read, pray, lament. I was stuck in a loop and seemed to be spiraling downward. Then I heard my son get out of bed to get ready for his sixth day in a row of serving his high school by doing the grunt work for homecoming week. Publicize, speak to crowds, set up, tear down, clean up. All that is on top of his busy soccer team schedule.
This is all good stuff, but the kid is tired!

The thought came, "I could make a nice breakfast for him". Even I can scramble eggs and ham. I can make toast. I could serve it and clean up.
So I did that after many selfish thoughts about how he could just eat cereal, he's in a hurry anyway, he won't thank me, etc. etc. etc.

The hardest part of all was letting him eat it without asking him "Isn't that good. Aren't you glad I did that for you?" I wanted those ego strokes so badly. He said a quick thanks and left.

I washed dishes. As I did, I realized that for the previous half hour, I had final stopped wallowing in self pity. I was distracted by doing the right thing. Now I have done a couple of more right things, and it is almost noon.

Why is it so hard to do the right thing? The results are ultimately always good. There are so many opportunities! Our sinful nature fights tooth and claw to pull us back into ourselves. The enemy of our soul lies to us about how hard it will be. Yet, God's still small voice is always there reminding us of our hope and strength in him.

May God grant us all the grace to do the right thing.
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