These words by one of my favorite authors, Rachel Remen, hang on the wall by my desk at home.
“Blessing life may be more about learning how to celebrate life than learning how to fix life. It may be developing and eye for joy. Blessing life is about filling yourself up so that your blessings overflow onto others.”
We all have our methods of making sense and meaning of our lives and one of the things that motivates me is a habit I have of reminding myself each day that I want to be a healing force of love in the world. I know that is a tall order and as a mere mortal I fall short of the mark too many times to mention, but the magnitude of the quest never fails to inspire me and quite effectively moves me from a place of apathy or even fear to empowerment.
When the quest of being a healing force of love in the world is truly alive in me I am tuned in to the suffering, large and small, of others. For example, just the other day I was blessed by engaging in a conversation with a High School boy who seemed shut off from the other kids and chose not to participate in the P.E. class I was subbing. He told me he didn’t care if he was docked for not dressing out, he just wasn’t interested in sports (and undoubtedly thought he’d take advantage of having a sub by not participating.)
I asked him what he was interested in and it soon became apparent that this boy had big plans for his future that had to do with becoming a welder and inventing things. I was impressed with his youthful enthusiasm and after listening to him for quite a while, commented that I had the distinct impression that he was going to go far in his life after High School. He seemed to drink those words in like a man thirsting for water in the desert and, though he didn’t change his mind about participating in P.E., we were both blessed by our exchange. He smiled and waved at me when he left the gym.
I love the image of “filling yourself up so your blessings overflow onto others,” and I’ve decided that to give from overflow is the only way to be a blessing in the world. When we give from a place of guilt or coercion or deficit, even resentment, we have no gift to offer. Nobody wants what we can scrap off from the bottom of our buckets! One of the things I love most about being a director of Religious Education is the way that this position “fills me” because of my love for our faith and our children and the wonderful adults that I get to work with that feel the same way. I am truly blessed to serve in this Boulder congregation and I thank each one of you for your blessing of patience, goodwill and support as I try my best to learn how to do my job better everyday.
Janen Wright Director of Faith Formation