One of the unexpected outcomes of my Rice and Beans challenge this week has been the clarity and focus that it has brought to a lot of my thinking. Mainly because at times my energy levels have been quite low!!
I think it actually began for me last Friday when I watched Rob Bell’s Nooma 18:Name. A brilliant and profound reflection on Identity and the importance of living and being as our true self. It was one of those moments that stopped me in my tracks. It highlighted for me how much I can struggle to live out of that true identity. The film and this week has also challenged me about what is really important and where do I get my significance and fulfilment from. Its inspired me to explore this a lot more during my 2012 Journey.
We were reflecting as a team today about the Rice and Beans Challenge. We talked about how in reality we have no real idea of what it really feels like to be hungry. This challenge has impacted us in many ways. A small insight into people’s everyday living. A greater sense of gratitude for what we do have. The amazing generosity and support we have received in donations and encouragements. Thanks to people how have given and encouraged!
Another bit of clarity hit me today. Life is also about celebrating and cherishing what we enjoy. Today I read a simple bio of someone and it finished by saying they Loved Curry, The West Wing and Knitting. It might sound strange but it really impacted me. There is a reason, a deep and profound reason, why I Love what I love…. I need to celebrate that and enjoy that more. Life in all its fullness (John 10:10).
I’ve then come full circle on this issue of identity by being stopped in my tracks with a blog post from a colleague at work who was simply sharing a brilliant piece of writing by Henri Nouwen from his excellent book ‘Bread for the Journey’. These words are so incredible. Now I need to explore living them out!
“Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now. We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!”
Amen to That!