I was browsing around the internet this morning and saw a posting by Eden Grace about 7 questions you can ask yourself about your ‘purpose in life.’ One of the comments on that posting, by Kathleen Wooten, contained this quotation:
It caught my attention immediately and I began to reflect. It seemed, in the quiet of my apartment before getting ready to go to worship this morning, to be particularly pertinent. In fact it jumped off the page and smacked me in the face.
It is simple. My task in Belize has been defined. I am to speak with an many different people and agencies that are involved on the south side of Belize City as I can. I am to gather data that will inform the discussion of a group of people who will discern a future direction for the work of Friends United Meeting in Belize.
It is persistent. There is always someone else to talk to or a conversation that needs to be continued. I never feel like I have learned enough.
It seems impossible. How can such a simple assignment be so frustrating, even seeming impossible? Why do I feel like people are giving me the answer they think I want to hear, instead of what they really think? Why do I get only part of the information, and a small enough part that later discussion makes my first impression incorrect? Why is it so hard to get straight answers? How long will it take to be trusted?
It doesn’t feel impossible, or even frustrating, every single day. Some days it’s just plain exciting. But it’s important for us to understand that, if we choose to expand the work in Belize, there are going to be times when it feels impossible.
It involves others. I am convinced that the success of any long term plan for the work of Friends United Meeting in Belize hinges on the buy-in of Belizeans. We must find Belizeans who “get” Quaker. I must model “FUM Quaker” with integrity in a way that Belizeans can see that of God in me and that of God within themselves. Then, for those who find truth in the Quaker way, we will need to place a heavy emphasis on leadership training. Yes, indeed, it involves others.
This is my morning reflection.
(Oh, by the way, the electricity just went out. Good thing my computer and my modem are battery powered…)