At every school board meeting, two angels are present to lead the discussion to fruitfulness. The first is the Angel of What Is and the second is the Angel of What Ought To Be.
In the heavenly order, there is no conflict between these angels. Their purpose is to bring the ought and the is together over time through intelligent, humble, truthful planning.
However, two other spirits of discord also hide insinuate themselves into the meetings, trying to drive a wedge between What Is and What Ought To Be. The first is the spirit of Not-Good-Enough, and the second is the spirit of Too-Hard.
When The Angel of Is speaks, he does so humbly and realistically. But the Spirit of Not-Good-Enough does not care about What Is so much as who’s to blame for the way things are. Sometimes he can convince people that God has failed them. This leads to hopelessness and complaining, neither of which arise from What Is or even from What Ought to Be, but only from Not-Good-Enough.
More frequently he persuades people that it is the fault of someone who doesn’t agree with them about a policy matter or some decision made earlier. The Angel of What Is keeps pointing to reality so the school can join it to What Ought To Be. The Spirit of Not-Good-Enough keeps fogging reality with blame and fear.
When the Angel of What-Ought-To-Be speaks, he does so with quiet inspiration. He knows that things Ought-To-Be because they are good and that the good is desirable for its own sake. He knows that God is good and has been laboring from the beginning to incarnate the good in the creation and in the school.
But as soon as the Angel of What-Ought-To-Be speaks, the spirit of Too-Hard tries to becloud the inspiration with fear. You aren’t smart enough, he says to one leader. We don’t have the resources, he says to another. You’ll be ignored, he says to a third. Somebody else will get the credit, he says to a particularly insecure member.
The Angel of What-Is knows all about the hardship. He’s been fighting evil spirits for eons. He knows the price. But he also knows all of What-Is. He knows that God is good. He knows that, as St. Augustine put it,
Magnum opus et arduum, sed Deus adiutor noster est.
A great and arduous work, but God is our helper.
The Angel of What-Is and the Angel of What-Ought-To-Be have been laboring together since the first day of creation to help God say, “It is Good.” But the spirit of Not-Good-Enough and the spirit of Too-Hard have been resisting under the guidance of the Great Accuser to bring chaos and disunity from the day when their master met the woman in the garden.
Let us attend to the Spirit of Holiness with such devotion that we forgive as a matter of course, defanging the serpent of accusation, continually putting the past behind and moving forward toward the mark of the high-calling of God in Christ Jesus, who loved us and gave Himself for us and for our students.