Humility & Slow Days
I’m largely accustomed to keeping busy, so it’s odd to me now that I am not constantly working. The last two days have been spent working in the food bank, replenishing supplies when they get low, and organizing school supplies left over from a backpack drive.
Sometimes saving the world looks pretty simple. I suppose I should qualify that a bit more. I believe that what I’m doing right now is a small way for me to work to make a positive impact in the world. I realize that I don’t actually save anyone by doing this, but I think that me being here means that good work will be done that will positively influence the community in which I am living. When I say “saving the world”, I mean something smaller than that. However, I am fully convinced that no matter how small a task I am doing, there is a reason for my presence in this place, and that is significant.
In general, I don’t mind “menial” tasks as much as one might think. Things need to get done, and I am capable of doing them. It would be very easy for me to say that I need something that matches my intellectual experience, to say that I deserve a certain wage because of all of the institutional and experiential learning that has gone in to make me the person I am today. But that mindset is one where pride enters in, and in my life, pride has brought more pain than it has brought goodness. Pride has made me judgmental, it has made me callous, it has made me insensitive. I don’t want those qualities to represent me. I want to be more humble than prideful, to serve where I can instead of demanding something that won’t help anybody.
One of the volunteers in the food bank learned today that I don’t have student loans that I need to pay off. When she heard that, she turned to me and asked, “Then why are you here?” I thought quickly, searching for an answer to give her. My quick response was, “For the good of humanity”, a statement which seemed to impress her. I mulled over the question later, and realized the opportunity that I had missed. The real reason is that I felt like this is where God wanted me to be. It’s a simple enough reason, but it requires more explanation. So I didn’t say what I could’ve said today. There will be other opportunities, and I am growing. I hope that I will be able to maintain my faith in the purpose of this time and position, even when it seems like my position seems so simple. I have learned that sometimes, it is just being there to say hello to someone that makes the difference. It’s the beginning of a relationship, and it is helping to meet a need.
It’s not pretty, but so little of life is. These slow days present the opportunity to get to know the people I’m working with and for, and to rest up before the storm comes. Day 2 brings me patience and humility to learn.