I bet you never feel overwhelmed, right? Taxes, exams, deadlines are greeted with ease? The great need in your family, your community, and our world seems manageable? Right! Just last week, there was a day – a cold, cloudy day – when I felt like I could never possibly do enough in the world.
“It’s all too exhausting to keep up with Joneses,” I wrote in my journal, contemplating another organization’s fancy new website and celebrity endorsers, “and what’s it all for anyway?”
Then my pencil took on a mind of it’s own: “Seek justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God.” Refreshing! “That’s all that God, and I believe, our SIA Board and supporters, require of me.”
So, I spent some time to take stock on how I’m living up to my requirements.
This one’s pretty easy, because seeking justice is a part of all programs we support.
MAVISALO, the local micro-loans group in Malawi is all about providing access to small loans for farmers and entrepreneurs in Manyamula village. Rather than let neighbors take out loans from the institutional lenders at sky-high interest rates, people came together for financial justice in their town.
Our Small Business Fund grants give $150 to the poorest people in villages, giving people who have been overlooked and turned away in the past a chance to start a business and learn financial management skills.
The CIFORD Kenya program seeks justice for girls in their district, informing them about their rights and teaching them about women’s health and HIV/AIDS prevention.
I feel a warm, kind heart within me when I connect with you – our supporters, partners, and Facebook friends, especially when I get to write thank you notes, and when I get a really great grant proposal and I get to engage with the person and ask more questions.
I also practice this in my daily life: greeting neighbors as we pass, helping to push a car out of the snow; sharing cookies with our downstairs neighbor, writing letters to friends.
I try to be kind to myself too by giving myself permission to read a good book, and sipping tea in bed in the mornings.
I know I can do more with humility than with ego. Ego keeps me thinking about myself, my “legacy,” my impact, rather than think about the people I am serving.
Keeping my practice of daily contemplation, prayer, and reading of Del’s writings.
Responding to each email request with honesty and humility, honoring each person’s effort to improve their community and seek assistance
Graciously thank all our volunteer Small Business Fund coordinators, who give their time to do the real work of SIA on the ground.
When I’m striving after things, when I have a day when I’m feeling small, can I stop and see if the things I’m worried about fit into my requirements or not?