I am writing this reflection at the end of our fourth week of the MMI. An entire month has gone by; a month that has brought more questions than answers – as any good theological journey should – and a time that has been systematically structured to induce constant personal reflection. That being said, when I sat down to think on what thoughts of my own could be worthy of sharing I came to a roadblock. That roadblock consisted of something I think many of us, especially those who seek to live the life willed for us (and whatever that may mean), have experienced. This stumbling block is pride. Pride found its way in to the most humbling of situations I have ever been blessed with. Now, let me explain. With all that I have been given in this opportunity to fulfill a mission, to spread the Word by action, and attempt to be a worthy disciple, I do not want to disappoint. So, you see, I had a roadblock because I had a revelation I wanted to share but there was no way to share the good without also having to examine my difficulties. But, in James 6:4 it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” And in that light I have decided it is best to share the questions and concerns that were plaguing me along with the revelation that befell me.
As I said, a month has gone by. A WHOLE MONTH. What have I been doing this whole month? Where has the time gone? What do I have to show for it all? Will I accomplish anything? These were just some of the questions that I was grappling with early on in the week. When I had first set out my plan for my mission, it was perfect. There would be tons of youth involved, we would plan this great event, they would learn skills like budgeting, cooking, the best nutritional information… and the list went on. Three weeks later and I had three (brilliant) youth – not my hoped-for hoard – I had a semi-broad idea of what this event would be, I had only four weeks to see it to fruition, and I had NOTHING done. Now, to those of you reading this, you are probably smiling and shaking your heads with the sage knowledge that of course my plans would not necessarily unravel perfectly. I too, thought I understood this. But, as the fourth week came upon me I could not help but feeling like I was missing the mark in my mission. The things I wanted to do weren’t getting done, the event had hardly been organized, and I didn’t know if the youth I was working with even cared about I was trying to do. I know, in hindsight we can all see how selfish and blinded by our own wants and needs we have been. Give me a chance here, it does get better. Finally these thoughts, worries, questions and overwhelming feelings were too much and I asked for help. Finally, I did something right. I went to one of the amazing leaders that has been guiding us through the process and for half an hour we chatted and redirected my goals to suit not me and my ideals for my mission, but rather, to really benefit the three youth I am working with.
My worry that I wasn’t making a difference to the youth washed away because I knew from that point forward each lesson or conversation would be constructed for them and around them with no higher agenda of mine. I was humbled in that moment; I was reminded that regardless of how many we serve, who we aid, who we touch in our pursuit to spread peace and love, we are doing the work we are meant to do; we are doing mission work. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
The following days I had a renewed sense of hope. I drafted a lesson plan that was a success! We talked about our bodies as temples, how we need to take care of them and keep them healthy, and constructed a menu for our event that followed these principles. I saw the youth engaged, smiling, and genuinely interested in what we were doing. I am so thrilled to continue to work with them and I am content knowing that so long as they gain even a smile, my mission has been fruitful.
Until next week,
Love and blessings,