I have always been inspired by the notion of changing the world to make it a better place. I dreamt of being part of the great adventure of creating a new and just society in my youth. I was willing to destroy the old to be able to bring in the new. I was fired with the enthusiasm of youth. I got involved with a progressive group, several of whom gave up their lives for what we believed in and worked for. Those were the halcyon days of romantic idealism. Rather naive and simplistic now that I have the experience of old age.
I learned from some wise man that in the end we realize that the only real change we are capable of is to change one’s self. In my career, I did help bring about organizational change the companies and institutions I worked with. I was known as a change management professional. I may also have helped some of the people I worked with bring about changes in their personal and professional lives. But now after all these years, the organizational changes I may have implemented have been worked over by later and other change managers. And the people whose lives I might have touched have moved on to touch other lives and remember me only in the far recesses of their memories.
Even now, in my advancing and advanced years, I realize though I am still changing, a work-in-progress. I am sometimes horrified at how many faults and shortcomings I still have to work on. I often wonder why and how far I have gotten in my life and career with so many imperfections. Every day, I wake up to become more aware that I am in need of redemption and salvation. I need to be saved, primarily from myself. Yes, I am a sinner.
There is so much good still to be done and I can do more. There is so much beauty still to delight in and I can appreciate and give it expression. There is so much truth still to learn and I can help proclaim it. There is some of these beyond my reach and capability. But sometimes, I am just plain flaky and I give in to my baser tendencies or take the path of least resistance or the method that requires of me the least effort.
Prayer time is when I become deeply aware of my sins and shortcomings, my flakiness and mediocrity. In prayer, I weep over my weaknesses, imperfections and transgressions. It is also in prayer that I come to hear the voice that tells me, “Your sins are forgiven; go, live in peace.” And there but for the grace of God go I.
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His mercy endures forever.
Jesus spoke up and said to him,
‘Simon, I have something to say to you.’
‘Teacher,’ he replied, ‘speak.’
‘A certain creditor had two debtors;
one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
When they could not pay,
he cancelled the debts for both of them.
Now which of them will love him more?’
Simon answered, ‘I suppose the one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’
And Jesus said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’
Then turning towards the woman, he said to Simon,
‘Do you see this woman?
I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet,
but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.
You gave me no kiss,
but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven;
hence she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.’