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This story comes from Reggie McNeal:


I was sitting on a bench on a beach boardwalk late one afternoon, resting after an hour walk. I had passed a woman in a green uniform pushing a broom several times. She came toward my bench doing her meticulous sweeping of the sidewalk. Suddenly she stopped, wiped her forehead, and rested on her broom. I called out to her: "You do a great job."


"Thank you," she replied. Then she added something that explained why the sidewalk behind her was spotless. "I just believe people want to walk on a clean sidewalk."


I was humbled to be in the presence of a worker who viewed her task with such significance. Whatever the park service was paying her, there’s no way they could have demanded the excellence she brought to her work. That kind of motivation comes from within.


(Source: Reggie McNeal, The Present Future (Jossey-Bass, 2003), p. 98. From a sermon by Stephen Collins, "Greatness in God’s Eyes")

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