Wednesday, August 13, 2008

On doing the "right" thing

People often ask me, "How did you know what to do as Central Dallas Ministries developed?" Or, "How did you decide what to do to realize the growth that CDM has experienced over the past 15 years?"

Good questions, I suppose.

With a very simple answer: we didn't!

I guess you'd have had to have been here pretty much full-time to understand.

One thing I've learned here is that at least 80% of everything related to progress is found in simply "showing up."

I like what Bernie Glassman says in his stimulating little book, Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lessons in Living a Life that Matters. Consider his wisdom:

Many people won't take a step until they think that they know what the right thing is. There is an expression, "Do the right thing." But how do we know what the right thing is? We can't know for sure. Maybe we should just say, "Do the next thing." And if we do that--whatever it is--to the best of our ability, chances are it will turn out to be the right thing as well." (135)

My experience tells me that Bernie is right.

On to the next thing then, okay?



Janet said...

I can definitely give testimony to the fact that we didn't know what to do!...didn't even know what *we* were doing...still don't! :)

Show up...listen to the community...step in the water and it will part.

Larry James said...

I'm very glad you joined us.

With god on our side said...

Only problem? That sounds like the kind of thinking that led us into the Iraq war.

How are the two similar? And different? How is it you've succeeded where others failed?

Larry James said...

with god on our side, not if your value base is solid. The point of my post is that you don't have to know exactly what to do in terms of tactics in order to go ahead and take action. You just live and work out of your values and go forward by "doing the next thing."