The Heart Where Change Begins

This morning I ponder upon one of the meditations written by Francis Fernandez in "In Conversation with God".  I have forgotten to read yesterday's words and so I catch up on my devotion by squeezing it in today.  How apt that he quote from Escriva's "Furrow" and say, 

The Lord needs strong and courageous souls who refuse to come to terms with mediocrity, but who will be able to enter all kinds of environments with a sure step. {Josemaria Escriva, The Furrow, 405}

I've been constantly been entering into all kinds of environments the past few weeks.  Having decided to continue on with youth ministry has given me quite a lot of time and strength to help the younger ministers steady their walk as they sift through the ministry issues and the path they want to walk.  It's taken me from sitting with them in their musings and praying with them in their intellectual struggles to meeting with them almost everyday of the week to simply hear them out and guide them.  It almost feels like the same rhythm and strength I received when I first started.  As if I haven't gotten tired at all.  Perhaps this is indeed the grace one receives when an authentic call has been answered. 

But alongside this, I fumble around my walk in being able to make breakthroughs happen in the workplace.  It has frustrated me so much that I cannot gain traction on my endeavors because I am limited by a people who is not able to open their mind about certain management styles and approaches because it is simply different from theirs.  I am limited by an issue of personality gaps and communication gaps between the key people who need to be supporting me at this time and I have been spending a large amount of my efforts just bridging them.  I am limited by the language that they can only understand.  A language where toil and responding with urgency remains to be an indicator of success and preparation for acquiring foresight, analysis and conceptualizing a roadmap for a possible future is an indicator of laziness.  I am frustrated because it feels as if all my efforts that have been borne from serious years of study and reflecting on the learnings of my experiences are wrong.

How can hard work just be nullified like that?  How can a mindset suddenly just put a halt to the opportunity of your progress?  How can people just allow themselves to cling to what they know and cling so hard that they are no longer able to see their narrowness and how it limits the growth of other people around them?  How can they be so self-absorbed as to think that only their way will make things right?  How can they want so many moments of intensive debate just to convince themselves that the people who work with them are people they can trust?  How can they remain deaf to what makes the hearts of the people at work so heavy it can barely beat?

I have tried to live my life according to the ways of the Spirit and I've realized with my difficult experiences in the work place that it is so hard to live a life of faith in the market place.  It's dog-eat-dog-world and there is really just no room for faith to seep in and refresh the lives of those who keep striving to make their keep.  I am almost losing hope but everyday seems to call me back to keep trying.  And though it no longer makes sense to keep trying, I obey the call and just do it.  Except this has made me so weary but it has also made me desperately relying on one person - God.  

Fernandez continues his reflection,

We are asked to for a determined confession of faith, like that of John the Baptist, without any inhibiting complexes; it is this steadfastness that will attract them and give them new life.  God's honour is paramount above all human considerations.  We cannot remain passive when people want to put God into parenthesis in public life or when sectarianism strives to relegate him to a corner of men's consciences.  We cannot keep silent with so many around us waiting for a testimony from us that will be consistent with the faith we profess.  Such testimony will sometimes consist of giving a good exmaple through our professional work, through our charity and understanding for everyone.  It will be given by the joy that enables people to discover in us the peace that is born of our relationship with God...At other times it will consist in keeping silent in the face of an unjust accusation, or in our quiet but forthright defence of the Roman Pontiff or of the hierarchy of the Church, or it will consist in our refuting doctrine which is erroneous or confused.  We should do this always with serenity, without becoming heated or going to extremes that do no good and are not proper to a Christian.  

I try to find this serenity in the face of all these challenges in the work place and I am able to find it at the end of the day when I look forward to the clock to strike 6pm and I can leave the parking lot with a good exhale for the day that is over.  But it's never really over.  

Today I pray that all the issues in the work place just be allowed to settle peacefully and be given time to work itself out without unnecessary pressure and movements that cause much anxiety.  I pray that people become enlightened to the real issues that prevent the organization from progressing.  That it is not only the efficacy of the workers that have not been performing up to par but it is how we behave around each other that keep us from truly achieving that unity of spirit that fuels all successful breakthroughs.  That if all truly desired for that "change for the better" it all begins with a personal change of heart.  


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