So school is back in full swing and our kids are getting the hang of having a regular schedule again. Two of our kids started new schools, so it’s an even bigger transition. Not only do they have to get used to new systems and stuff like that, but they have to get used to new people as well. Starting something new like that isn’t easy.
I remember whenever I start at a new school or a new job, I’d be a little anxious because I’m not always the easiest to get along with. I mean, I talk about garbage (not literal garbage although that could be an interesting topic from time to time), I crack too many jokes and take close to nothing seriously, and well… I can be kind of mean as I make fun of people too much as well. I know I have these shortcomings, and I’m working on them (it’s been like 20 years though and not sure how far I’ve gotten), and they’re always on my mind when I meet new people.
So when that happens, I try to be my best me. Sure, I’ll still crack jokes, but not at the expense of others. I try not to change the subject of conversation to comic books and toys like I’d want to (or literal garbage for that matter). And above all, I do what I can so people don’t hate me (liking me is optional but just a bonus).
I know, it sounds maybe a bit self-centered, maybe even narcissistic, but it’s something that I try to instill in our kids too. And that is you can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have friends or belong to some sort of community, then what does it matter? Relationships are the key to any person with any kind of influence (in my opinion) and any lasting effect in the world.
At least, that’s how I see. Hopefully I’m onto something with that.
You know, I never really understood this parable that Jesus gives. It seems so unfair and unjust for this “shrewd” manager to rip his own boss off for his own gain. But then in my further reading I saw that he wasn’t ripping his boss off, but he was stopping the ripping off of the farmers in a totally unfair and unjust system that they were a part of. An unfair and unjust system which allow the rich to get richer off the backs of the poor who will continue to be poorer because of it.
I know, sounds familiar right?
So the actions of this manager didn’t just help him stay off the streets, but he was restoring the dignity of the farmers. He was giving them their lives back. He was elevating the playing field so to speak, and so all people might be able to see the value and worth of others regardless of class or socioeconomic status.
And then perhaps the landowner commends the manager for teaching him a lesson as well. Sort of opening his eyes to the folly of his greed and exploitation of others for his own gain. Perhaps even realising that all the money in the world won’t replace good friends and a good community.
That’s the takeaway I have for this week, my friends. I hope there is a bit of grace in it for all of you to ponder and reflection.
Have a great week!