Where you need to be
“Sooner or later, everyone will face not getting what they want. How we respond to this unavoidable moment determines how much peace or agitation we will have in our lives.” —Mark Nepo
Last week one of our committee members didn’t show up for an important meeting. When she later explained how she had forgotten after an unplanned experience supporting a friend, our committee chair John replied “Sounds like you were where you were supposed to be, ministering like an angel.”
The next day I was on a morning walk before a full day of work tasks. Stopping to pet one of my favorite dogs on my route and say hello to his owner, she began talking about an issue she’d been struggling with. As part of my brain was attentively listening, another was thinking about the work awaiting me. Then I remembered John’s words, “sounds like you were where you were supposed to be,” and relaxed into full engagement with her.
This neighbor thanked me profusely for listening to her, stating how much better she felt. I think both of us felt lighter for this encounter. We had both been where we needed to be.
What if we’re always where we need to be even if it doesn’t make sense to us in the moment?
Whether it’s a personal expectation or a professional one, life has a way of throwing us curve balls. Mark Nepo reminds us in the quote above that how we respond to these changes “determines how much peace or agitation we will have in our lives.”
May you trust that you, loved ones, co-workers, and neighbors are right where you need to be. And may this give you peace.
“This is the moment that opens all others, for our acceptance of things as they are and not as we would have them allows us to find our place in the stream of life.”
—Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways To Listen
“Lent is a time of intentionality and of attentiveness. As I sit with people who want to ‘come back to God,’ I am aware their return is written within their lived experiences.”
Two Different Gods
What we want and
what we’re given often
serve two different Gods.
How we respond
to their meeting
—Mark Nepo, from a reflection he offers on Not Getting What We Want in his book, Seven Thousand Ways To Listen