Monday, June 27, 2005


Surprise, surprise!

Come to think of it, one of the things I most enjoy doing is surprising people, and given my personality, I manage to do this from time to time. In person at least, I'm not the type of person who likes tooting my own horn or banging on my own drum. Instead, I prefer to let my gifts and talents become visible in the ordinary course of things. That's why it was nice lately when a few people noticed my singing voice and my city driving without my having first told them about my abilities.

This approach makes me a rather odd duck at my work place, the information technology group of a large public institution of higher education. All around me are people who don't hesitate to boast or brag about their knowledge. What's more, a group of them who share the office next door to mine are rather, er, gregarious in style and enjoy each other's company in a sometimes noisy manner. This is quite a contrast from my style, which tends towards the quiet and introspective. In a way it's understandable that people might come to the conclusion that I'm stuck up or anti-social, not realizing that I don't go for horseplay and that I prefer to interact with people in a reasonably mature manner.

Thus, I think I surprise my collegues a bit when they have occasion to work together with me on a project. Several have gone so far as to comment that they hadn't realized that I was such a nice guy. I'm sure I could make more of an impression if I carried on with the fun-loving crowd, but since I'd rather have the people of this world respect as opposed to like me, this is fine with me.

In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, I recall that Mr. Darcy's housekeeper rather surprises Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt and uncle when she comments that although some people find him to be cold, it's just that he doesn't choose to prattle on as other young men. Although I enjoy it when people like me, I don't think it's honoring to God for me to make cultivating such admiration a priority. Instead, I'll continue to strive to model the character of Christ as God gives me grace to do so, expecting that in so doing God will in due time give me the connections and relationships that will best honor Him.

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