Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

Light, chalk pastel by Tobias Mayer, 2021

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-7

Introductory Note: The first letter to the Thessalonians is considered to be the first of Paul's letters, probably written in AD 52, making it the oldest existing Christian document included in the New Testament.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus frequently asks us to wake up, stay alert, be watchful.1 Here, Paul picks up the message and casts it in a light/dark paradigm. We can choose to be children of the light, staying sober, staying watchful, anticipating great change and being ready to embrace it. For it is complacency that allows us to fall into disarray, into metaphorical (and for many, actual) drunkenness. To stay alert is to stay sober, to stay caring, to say "life matters".

I see a great deal of complacency in my work as an organisational coach and consultant. Workers and even managers demotivated, disengaged with their work, disconnected from meaning and purpose slowly begin to give up, to stop caring, to fall into daytime sleep, or negative trance state.2 There is a great movement afoot to wake up the workplace, but this movement is dramatically slowed down due to the overwhelming (or would that be underwhelming?) levels of disengagement. Few care, few can be bothered to step into the required role of responsible, thinking employee, alert citizen. While I have no wish to compare workplace transformation to spiritual awakening, we can see how complacency in one area of our lives spills over to other areas. By staying alert to all aspects of life, by looking for opportunities to engage, to serve, to love, we slowly come to wakefulness, we slowly come to see the light.

1 E.g. Mark 13:33-37
2 Worldwide, 13% of Employees Are Engaged at Work, Gallup, 08/10/2013. Eight years on little has changed.