12:30 Wednesday 2016-10-05
A learning opportunity that may seem trivial.
I’ve been pondering a lot lately why people, myself included, balk at owning their personal power. It has seemed to me that a major factor is fear of disappointment: owning personal power means a duty to take initiatives, to act on arbitrary decisions, and face the risk that what one hoped for may not obtain.
Yesterday morning when I turned my phone on, there were three voice mails, one from my invalid oldest brother and two from prospective employers wanting to set interviews. Given the way things are for me on Tuesdays, I was unable to return any of the calls. I wanted to do so today.
The first Wednesday of each month there is normally a “produce drop” at church. I’d prefer some way to absent myself, as it involves a lot of noise, a lot of traffic through the church, a lot of strangers, and possibly a ton of strenuous physical labor. We receive perhaps 7,000 lbs. of food to distribute to the community, and may serve 150 households.
I am skeptical of some features of our food ministry. Almost none of those we serve ever show up on Sunday morning. Almost none ever find any way of “giving back.” Consistent with neediness, most of them have dark auras. In contrast to our garden ministry, there is no mechanism to facilitate a transition whereby “takers” become “makers.”
I have no personal interest in the “produce drop” and would sure prefer to spend my time working on the computer rather than helping unload the truck. But it would look really, really bad for me to do so while a dozen people all around me are engaged in heavy manual labor.
The worst part is bagging loose potatoes; this morning the food bank sent us two cubic yards of them. It’s a really dirty task, and sometimes you have to handle rotten ones.
In my prayer time this morning, I puzzled this dilemma. With the background noise connected with the “produce drop,” it will be challenging for me to return those phone calls under any circumstances so long as I am at church today. And there would be the time lost to helping unload the truck. Doing that might risk missing these telephone and job connections.
I decided to help with the truck anyway, trusting to providence or faith that the phone contacts will work out all right in their own time. “Faith,” for me, normally means “integrity,” but here it seems to have more the meaning most people attach to it.
I took a risk.