Are you like me and often surprised when someone thinks differently from you?
At the same time, when I am surprised to see how differently a friend and I may think -- this is when I see clearly how my thinking is not what it used to be. I see the strides I have made. I see the contrast between my old ways of thinking and my new ways of thinking, and it is certain that my new ways are closer to God's. Closer in thought and closer in deed. Still a long way to go, but closer.
There was a time in my life -- a long time in my life -- when my first thought was: "What's in it for me?" That's stating it as brutally as I can. At the time I didn't see myself as selfish. I'm pretty sure that it didn't occur to me that I wasn't as giving a person as I liked to think I was. I cringe now at some of the selfish things that I did and was so sure I was right.
In fact, there was a time when I was on the money-making track. Of course, I never did make it, yet if determination were the key, I would be rich! I went to seminars. I read books. Some were very fine and had principles, and yet the thrust was on making money, and I went kinda crazy and spent money and acted on suggestions that, in my right mind, I never would have. But I idolized the seminar leaders and I convinced myself that it was all right to kid myself that something was true when I knew plain well that it wasn't. I really knew better than to network with people just because I thought they could help me get ahead.
At that time I was into smart thinking, and I was into effort.
Now I am into no thinking and no effort! It is such a relief!
I do believe that we get rewarded for all the good we do, yet that's not the same as looking for a direct line from what we do to a pay-off.
I like the theme of the song from A Sound of Music that says: "Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good."
I remember a true story about a young man who stopped to help an ordinary-looking guy in an ordinary car fix a flat tire. I forget the names of the two men. The man who had the flat tire was famous, and he never forgot the young man who had stopped to help him change his tire. And when the man who had the flat tire died, he left his millions to the simple young man who had never thought about any kind of reward but the reward of helping someone from the goodness of his heart.
Can we possibly imagine any of the Great Ones saying: "What's in it for me? How is spending time with this person to my advantage?"
In God's employ, it was impossible for such thinking to occur to the Great Ones. Not for one minute.