Doing Or Being?

I have just seen the movie ‘The Devil Wore Prada’ – probably two years after everyone else! What a character Miranda is: a highly successful CEO of a large fashion house; exceedingly elegant; driven by ambition; super efficient; focused on reaching deadlines and getting everyone else to do the same; busy to the point of rushing from one meeting  to the next, hardly catching her breath yet able to front up to public occasions totally unflustered! However in her wake she left dozens of frantic, confused, fearful, unappreciated and insecure associates.Outwardly she was stunningly successful; inwardly – particularly in the area of personal relationships – she was significantly flawed and amazingly insensitive to the feelings of those around her – family and colleagues in particular.

Her priorities were all wrong.  Yes, she had an important position to maintain; yes, she had expectations to fulfill; yes, she had a schedule to meet, but she had lost sight of the importance of relationships and giving encouragement and support to those who worked alongside her.  She was so busy ‘doing’ that she had no time for ‘being’.

As we prepare for Lausanne 3 in Cape Town ( next year we are conscious that there is so much to do: recommendations to make; applications to fill in; speakers to invite; co-ordinators to appoint; National Committee decisions to make about participants; reports to write; scholarships to consider; venue to be checked and that”s just a beginning!  In the midst of it all may we reflect on Paul”s advice to the Colossian believers in Colossians 3:12-14: ‘Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity.’

Robyn M. Claydon is Vice Principal of Abbots Leigh School, Sydney, Australia and a citizen of that country.