Jim Collins wrote the management theory classic Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don’t in 2001. He writes about “Good is the Enemy of Great,” leadership and confronting the brutal facts. There is much insight.
Ronald Rolheiser in Sacred Fire also takes up the subject of going from good to great. And not surprisingly he takes a different route. He shares a story of a group of struggling priests coming to terms with the realities and challenges of their vocation. One priest (pg. 143) offered this image: “I sometimes picture my soul as a mansion with thirty rooms. I had given twenty-seven of them to God, but I had kept three for myself. Conversion for me meant giving up those final three rooms.”
Going from a “good” follower of Christ to a “great" follower of Christ involves negotiating the self-imposed boundaries and borders of our lives. We play this game with God, which God must find amusing. And frustrating. For how can we ever truly hide from the One who knows all and who loves us because and regardless of it.
A beautiful poem by Margaret Halaska is offered to illustrate the point. And our takeaway, for our reflection: God likes what God sees in us, so why do we hold back?
The Father knocks on my door
seeking a home for his son.
Rent is cheap, I say.
I don’t want to rent. I want to buy, says God.
I’m not sure I want to sell,
but you might come in to look around.
I think I will, says God.
I might let you have a room or two.
I like it, says God. I’ll take the two.
You might decide to give me more some day.
I can wait, says God.
I’d like to give you more,
but it’s a bit difficult. I need some space for me.
I know, says God, but I’ll wait. I like what I see.
Hm, maybe I can let you have another room.
I really don’t need that much.
Thanks, says God, I’ll take it. I like what I see.
I’d like to give you the whole house
but I’m not sure…
Think on it, says God. I wouldn’t put you out.
Your house would be mine and my son would live in it.
You’d have more space than you’d ever had before.
I don’t understand at all.
I know, says God, but I can’t tell you about that.
You’ll have to discover it for yourself.
That can only happen if you let me have the whole house.
A bit risky, I say.
Yes, says God, but try me.
I’m not sure—
I’ll let you know.
I can wait, says God. I like what I see.