As I sit and sip my coffee eagerly on this fall day, some things become more apparent to me. When I start to think about goals, short term goals, long term goals, social goals and even economic goals, things start to overwhelm me and my senses, and that is where the problem begins.
My friend C has been talking a lot about goals lately. His goals for the next year are not all the most realistic but he understand that. He knows his limits but he also knows that life is subject to change at any given moment. Talking about goals is a scary thing for me, mostly because I don’t know what I want out of life right now. I don’t’ seem to be content with living in the city I live in, or with the job that I happen to have, but I do seem to be content to be poor and read a lot. I’m not for sure what that means.
I think that for everyone, setting goals is an important part of processing what is happening around us. We each have goals that we set for the day, such as, I need to get to the grocery store, or I need to do my laundry. If those goals are met, then well, life goes on and things don’t change much. I guess overall if we don’t reach our goals things don’t change much, unless it is a goal that our employer has set for us. That is that is the dangerous goal, when we feel pressured to obtain something that won’t actually benefit us.
I think that goals should not only have personal ramifications, but also goals should reflect the sort of lives that we wish to lead. Our goals should be not only to provide for ourselves and those we love but also those around us that are needy as well. Those around us that are caught in a world that doesn’t provide them with what they need. Since we live in a world that seems to have everything planned out for us–everything is taken care of and we generally have our basic needs met, maybe some of our goals should engage ourselves to try and provide for those that don’t have their basic needs met.
I’m not for sure where it is that I’m going with this, but it is prompted by a homily I heard the other day. It was on being alone and challenging ourselves to be quiet, to take time out to just be quite and alone, and through that we will be able to discover more about ourselves and more about our relationships with each other and more so, with a God. At one point in the homily, he mentioned that to serve the poor from the point of being rich, is not the way things were intended. In fact blessed are the poor. In some way I feel like I need to validate my life right now, and part of that is in not having money. I don’t have money to squander on things like clothes and new books. I have the occasional cup of coffee and the occasional dinner out and that is about it. I’m not saying that my “goal” for my life right now is serving the poor directly–I’m not trying to validate laziness…even though I think that sometimes is the idea that people get when I tell them what I’m doing, how I’m feeling. Maybe the people I’m trying to reach are my friends–my family–my relationships. Maybe those people are the ones that I’ve been deemed to be with–to help and to somehow, help validate their existence now. For awhile I’ve said I just want a job that will pay me to hang out with the friends I currently have. Well, maybe a job isn’t what I’m supposed to have. Maybe I’m just supposed to be with them–listen to them–treat them like an equal and understand their situation and their lives. I love it. Maybe I’m supposed to learn reliance on a community that loves me for who I am–and for me to understand that is the hardest part. To learn to accept what others give to me is so difficult for me to understand. Whether it is a conversation over coffee or a place to sleep and eat, my friends are giving me validation for my life now. They are understanding, loving, giving, and graceful. To get to the point, sometimes to be a giving person doesn’t mean going out and feeding the homeless, sometimes being a giving and caring person means sitting and listening to your friend, buying them a cup of coffee, making dinner for someone, or simply giving someone an opportunity to escape.
Thanks to you who allow me to escape. I’m trying to accept your grace.