It's been a while since I wrote a post- some of you have noticed that, and others - shame on you- have not! How have you survived so long without an update from me?!! It must have been hard for you. Im sorry.
It seems like my trip to England was a very long time ago, I came back to the Dominican at the start of December and it has been a crazy, crazy non stop few months. I dont want to go into too much detail here, in the public domain, so any of you who dont know the drama that has been going on out here, please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and, depending on who you are, I will give you a heads up!
Since December, I've learnt a lot.
I've learnt that the concept of Numerical Order is not as straight forward as I though... I was raised to believe that numerical order is an absolute truth...that it goes like this... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10...
However, I discovered that for many of my friends here in the village of Esperanza, numerical order goes like this... 1, 11, 111, 12, 122, 13, 133, 14, 144... basically, any number starting with a 1 is smaller than any number starting with a 2 etc. Interesting. Frustrating when you are desperately trying to keep your files in house number order... Interesting though. They are so sure that they are right that I have almost given in to their system...!
I've also learnt that Im not God. Now...I knew this before - obviously - but I got to the point of being almost overwhelmed by the stress of the current task - and the finance side of it, aswell as the organisational and administrative side. Everything was building up and becoming very stressful - I was finding it hard to get to sleep, I was working crazy long hours, constantly thinking about everything that needs doing. Then it came to me. Im not God. I can only do what I can do, with the finances and resources that God has provided, for the people that are committed to doing their part to get the task done.
Sorry this is all a bit cryptic. I hope you all know what Im on about...
A few years ago I spent some time at Bristol Baptist College, I did half a masters in youth and community work with applied theology. During that course, we spent a lot of time looking at theological reflection. Posh words for Stepping back and seeing how God is involved in our everyday experiences. As my stress levels increased in January, I realised that this couldnt carry on or I would get burnt out. So, I tried it - I stepped back and asked God where He was, what His roles were in solving the big problem we are facing, and then where I fit in. It helped so much.
Realising that I am not God, and therefore can not do everything for everyone, has been very liberating. It doesnt mean I am sitting at home with my feet up, Im still working hard and putting in everything I have to help the village - but without the stress. Everytime I start to feel a bit stressed, I recite the word Perspective. It helps.
So, I dont know what the outcome of all of this will be - I dont know what is going to happen in the next few months, but I do know that if Im faithful in doing my part with what God gives me, putting my all into the task and helping those I can, then the rest isnt really up to me.
Its true for all of you too. I know some of you are parents and are worried about your children, your marriages, your careers, your retirement, your health, your friends and your family...any number of things. Life is scary sometimes, no matter who we are or what we do or how strong our faith is. But...I just want to encourage you, when you are feeling overwhelmed, there is a God who is right there too - try stopping for a while and just asking Him where HE is in the situations that you are facing. Where is He, what is His heart, what is it that you are meant to do and what are you meant to trust Him to do... perspective. you are not God. I am not God. But God is God.