It comes full circle in completion, and begins again.
There have been a lot of full circles in this internships process. It’s almost a full year since I started this project. We finished our last day of the youth project at the cabin on the coast where my youth group started in the Fall. Noah, a graduating senior who was an integral part of the planning team, is finishing his time with our youth group after this project. And now, as I write this post [June 30th] I am back in Gifford Pinchot National Forrest, where I started my first blog last year. It’s fitting that I wrote the first post while I was climbing up a challenging trail, and now I write this post at the bottom of that same trail, muscles sore from the strenuous hike, but thankful for the adventure and happy to be in a good Sabbath space, the sound of the creek in the background and the beautiful sun shining through the high standing Cedar and Spruce. The Eco-faith Youth Project is complete.
Initially I thought this meant that my work was done. But as a couple of my mentors have pointed out, this may be just the beginning. True, I need some down time after a number of weeks of exhausting 12-14 hour days, but now is also the time to start thinking and reflecting about what this project has meant to my life. This work may be an important part of my deeper life calling. And as my spiritual director/accompanier, Terry Moe says, “this is one confirmation of call. You may want 2 or 3 more before you dive in head first.”
So this weekend I’ve been thinking about what’s next and what I might want to do to deeper explore this call. On my list is reading fully “The Great Work,” by Thomas Berry, “Active Hope,” by Joanna Macy, and “Black Elk Speaks,” as told through John G. Neihardt. I also want to learn more about and contact my personal hero, Drew Dellinger. As a person concerned with bringing movements together for economic, racial, and environmental justice, I was thinking of contacting Colorlines, prominent racial justice magazine, to ask if they know people or organizations that are bringing together these movements.
There are many more ideas and wonderings that keep flowing through my mind, but for now I will take things one at a time. As I complete this writing and reflection, I am filled with gratitude for all my mentors and teachers over the years, and especially to Eco-faith Recovery for giving me the opportunity to more deeply explore my call. As I leave this forest today, and as I wrap up this project, I am thinking about Fredrick Buechner’s quote on call: “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I wonder if some version of this camp is what I am meant to do with my life. Can I find people that will support me both financially and professionally? Will I be able to take this experience deeper and build something where I can invest most of my energy? Answering these questions, I believe, is what this great call adventure is all about. I look forward, both with some fear and excitement, to seeing how my part of the Great Work will play out.
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