I write this blog post tonight after another amazing meeting with what is now a 4 person team working on this Eco-faith Youth Project. This last month, Noah (who is part the youth group at Central Lutheran where I’m the youth director) joined the team, and 2 weeks ago Kate (a friend of one of the other team members, Anna) joined us as well. It’s an exciting experience to be part of this amazing group of people with lots of energy and ideas to make this project really great, one that will help our youth grapple with the crisis that we are facing economically and ecologically. I can feel the energy building as we get closer to the start of the project on June 18th, and in many ways I’m feeling really good about where we are in the process. I think this is going to be an amazing experience.
But as the title of this post suggests, I also have something to confess: I don’t know if I know what I’m doing or if this will be a “successful” camp. Not only that, this process has brought me many times to engage with what many call the “critic,” that voice inside me that tells me I can’t do it or that I should procrastinate and do something else instead. To me, this is where the spiritual journey really gets real. I can’t tell you how many times in the past month or two where I’ve felt overwhelmed and questioned whether it was a good idea to accept this challenge to create a camp like experience for youth. I know that I had a strong calling at the start, filled with excitement about what this project might look like, but now we’re really into the somewhat less attractive, hard work of following through on all the commitments I made at the start, and I can’t just stop working on it because it feels challenging. This project really is asking me to go all the way through with this, to push myself to learn and grow, and perhaps create something meaningful as a part of the process.
Ultimately, though I may have times when I feel resistant to the challenges of this work, I know on a deep level this is what I feel called to be doing. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with Anna, Noah, and Kate, and to me it is about the relationships that we build together, sharing ourselves and learning in the process.
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2 thoughts on “You mean I have to go all the way through with this? (by Nathan Holst, EcoFaith Recovery Intern)”
Nathan! Thanks so much for sharing your process, and with such honesty. As Mary Oliver generously reminds us (in Wild Geese), “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles, through the desert, repenting…”
That said, I think you’re right. This is going to be an amazing camp experience, and it sounds like it is already an amazing (if exhausting) creative experience. You are taking on quite an effort, to synthesize and distill the work of the Biocommons class into an engaging week long camp. Whatever you accomplish, I’d encourage you to see it as a prototype of something sorely needed in our community, and in our culture. You already win, Nathan! You are doing your call. I for one, remain in awe. (Take that, critic!)
love and courage to you, friend.
Thanks, Turtle! So glad to be sharing this internship journey with you. Here’s to living into call, especially when things get challenging.