Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Luke 19:11-27

This verse was purely based on the inspiration of an idea that crossed my mind after the race.  I didn't have anything in this race that was associated with 19:11 or the 27 either.  So, let me share my thinking.

At some point in my blogging, I know I have blogged about the parable of the talents, although I am hard pressed to find it.  The key is that I have spent time thinking about the consequences of not using my God given talents and the poor outcomes that will follow.

What I spent time thinking about last Saturday after the 10K was another parable.  The parable of the talents as told by Matthew is one in which three servants are given different amounts.  Two double what they have and are rewarded.  One does nothing with what he is given and is punished.

In Luke's version (19:11-27) it is a bit more complicated.  In Luke's version three men are each given one gold coin.  One turns it into 10 and is given a great reward.  One turns it into 5 and is given a moderate reward.  And the third does nothing with his and is punished.

So, in each case, the one who did nothing is punished and the one with the biggest return is rewarded.  What is interesting is a comparison of the guys in the middle in the two cases.  In Matthew's story the guy in the middle starts with less resources.  In Luke's story the guy in the middle is presumed not to have worked as hard.

I thought I might have better than a seven minute mile average pace in me.  Am I losing sleep over the fact that I "only" managed to run a seven minute average pace and not something faster?  No.  There were a lot of variables.  My fastest one mile run in over two decades the day before.  The warmth.  The stress of a very busy day.  And the fact that I had run 2.9 miles before the race.  Each could have contributed.

However, as I was running back to the symphony hall after the race and passing by a student of mine, I did think, could I have done more?  Did I not set my sights high enough?  Did I set an achievable goal at the cost of not doing even better if I had set a goal that would have made me strive just a little more even if I had not made it?  And, in the end, what is better?  To set an achievable goal and make it or to set an aspirational goal and fail.  Setting goals that are just good enough is probably not what life should be about  Setting goals to be the best I can possibly be--the aspirational goals that I have to keep working toward, should be what I focus on.  I should aim to be the man who returned 10 golden coins--even if I fall short and perhaps only come back with a few, rather than being the guy who makes 5 golden coins without having to try very hard.   

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