Early July I hung the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign, and turned away from my writing desk and my normal ministry cares. I’m back now, both to my official ministry and my writing desk. Fishing’s been good this summer – some nibbles, some good catches and one REALLY BIG ONE that I hope I hooked. One thing about spiritual fishing — they never really get away for we’re always formed and shaped by what we experience. Each nibble counts!
Am I worth what I’m paid?
Am I paid to get exhausted or live sustainably?
That’s where I was when I hung up my ‘Gone Fishing’ sign, and you responded more strongly than ever before. Clearly a lot of us ask these same questions. I think they are both central to us as human beings and also central to finding our way of living an authentic counter-cultural contemplative life in western society.
Today let’s start with worth. How many of us are haunted by the whispers ‘you’re not good enough, you’re wrong, you can’t do that….you’re (fill in the blank).’ Sometimes it is someone else saying that to us, or implying it with a tilt of the head, raised eye or lip or by leaving us off the email/meeting list. Sometimes it is a whisper in our mind that we can hear and instantly get hooked. For many of us the ideas are buried deep within our psyche, as if we are programmed to doubt ourselves. Often we are harder on ourselves than on others. Some of us though are harder on others than ourselves, but that hardness comes from the same place. As I sat in a meeting one day discussing my salary I could hear the whisper, “How can you be worth that?” and I felt the vulnerable place inside me that the whispering doubt could land in. Welcome to the Human named Anne!
My sense of human worth grew over the summer. Not simply my own personal worth, but the value of each human being. It doesn’t matter whether I agree with them or not, whether I like them or not, whether I know them or not, each human being has value and is to be honored. We are to honor each other. I expanded on my willingness to accept people as they are and to know our connectedness. Each one of us is precious.
I was at a water park with my grandchildren surrounded by dripping wet people – nothing polished, refined, learned, reverential was happening and each person was precious; One of those Merton Epiphany Moments. Maybe, I’m hoping, I believe that I took a step away from linking worth to money. I accept my salary with gratitude to the people who work to contribute to it. I’m worth what I’m paid. I bring the fullness of who I am to my work and I am precious. I have found it good to repeat that often as I stand in the Epiphany awareness of who we are. You are precious. We are beyond worth, beyond measure. We are connected – Vine and Branches.
May the sense of your Godly Human worth grow within you today!
Enjoy your day.
“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
– Fred Rogers