Tuesday, January 22, 2008

As the World Turns

I went up to my Con Ed site last night for the first time in over a month. I'm a little ashamed to say that, actually. While we weren't required by Candler to go to our site over our winter break, the sites are open and continue to operate, often with the help of volunteers. With the exception of a few days in Florida with my mom and one day in the mountains with Bruce, I stayed in Atlanta for the duration of the entire break - and didn't go to my site once. It's not that I don't enjoy going - in fact, visiting the residents and staff at MUST tends to feed my sometimes drained spirit with hope and possibilities. But for some reason I never made it a priority to go in the month that I was off of school.

One of the residents asked me once if I was being forced to volunteer. That sounds funny, because volunteerism is, by nature, not something that you are forced to do. And while I do want to be considered a volunteer, I know that I was brought to MUST Ministries not by my freewill, but by the hands and minds of those working in the Con Ed office. And I know that at the end of the year, I will no longer continue to volunteer - I will hang up my volunteer badge and move on to spend a year in a parish. So where does that leave me? I told this particular resident that while I was technically forced, I was always happy to be there. And that's true - but it still doesn't explain why I didn't make it a priority to be there for a little over a month. And I've thought long and hard about this, trying to find an answer. But I can't - and that bothers me.

I think I need to think long and hard about where I THINK my priorities are and where my priorities REALISTICALLY are. While I may complete all of my hours required by Candler and pass Con Ed I, what am I really learning about ministry if I'm simply completing the bare minimum?

God doesn't call someone into the ministry to complete the bare minimum. God doesn't call someone into the ministry to just squeak by. God calls people to SERVE. And service can't happen in percentage points. If I were at a restaraunt and the waiter brought my food to the halfway point between the kitchen and my table, and left it for me to get up and get, I have a feeling my temper would be high and the waiters tip would be low. I need to start thinking about service, my call and, specifically, my work at MUST as an "all or nothing," rather than a "minimum requirement" scenario. I need to seriously consider my options and schedules during spring break, long weekends and finals. And I need to surround myself with people who are going to hold me to this.

I have been given such a wonderful opportunity to work with such a gifted and talented group of people at MUST this year - the staff, volunteers and guests all give me so much and it is my hope that at least one of them will be able to look back on this year and regard me in the same way.

With peace and blessings,

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