This morning, as I was doing the work I had committed to do so that my friend would be free to take care of an urgent family matter, I found myself "in the zone." My work was going so well, and I found myself thinking, "When others see how well I'm doing this, they'll make comparisons with my friend's work and realize I'm really better at it than he is." Suddenly the joy of the work left me, and I understood that I had allowed my mind to take the altruistic view that had prompted me to volunteer to help my friend out and turned it into a selfish competition to get the better of the very person I wanted to help.
I immediately stopped to ask God to work in my heart and mind to transform my selfish competitive nature to one that is seeking the best for my friend, to return to me the joy of the work without a selfish sense of pride. My plan now is to think through what it is about doing this work that brings me so much joy and how I can use the skills I've been given to reflect positively on the friend I want to help.
It is one thing to take pride in work done well, but I need to remember that the skills to do the work well were a gift from God. My development of those skills would not have been possible without the help of many others who gave of their own knowledge and supported me so that I could be better at my work. While my own efforts played a role, it was the unselfish assistance I received from teachers, parents, and friends that made what I've accomplished possible. For this, I am very grateful.