Coming to the Fence

Today we finished removing a mile long length of barbed wire fencing.  After cutting through brush and trees that have overgrown the side of the road, we reached in and pulled out the tangled wires, coiling them as we went along.  There was something about the work that brought me some sort of peace, an ease that could not be explained.  But as I, almost mindlessly, coiled lengths of rusted, twisted and sharp wire I was able to find a balance and a calm. 

As I worked, I found that I constantly strive to prove myself.  Not to others, but to who I am.  I push myself to see how far I bend before I can’t take the stress any longer.  I go above and beyond, not to please others, but because I know that I can do better than what I’m currently doing. 

As we, the AmeriCorps NCCC team working with the Missouri Department of Conservation in and around the Whetstone Creek Conservation Area, found ourselves assigned to this length of fence, I began to step back from trying to prove myself.  For weeks, we have found ourselves chainsawing Autumn / Russian Olives and each day I found myself behind the saw, not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to prove that I could, that I wasn’t exhausted, that I wasn’t afraid at some level. 

I’m not saying that I didn’t or don’t enjoy the work we are doing here, but as we approached the fence, I stepped back.  I trailed behind (with a few others) and pulled the wire out from posts, the ground, from within trees (well, we just cut the wire and left little bits in the trees).  I didn’t try to prove anything.  I purposely avoided the opportunity to chainsaw so that I couldn’t prove anything. 

And I found a peace that for so long I had forgotten about.  It’s the peace of knowing that there is no need to try to prove yourself to anyone.  It’s the peace of knowing that if God will accept you for who you are, there is no need to try to be something else.  It’s a peace that I felt while working alongside the crew of the M/V Africa Mercy almost eight months ago, while working alongside the nurses and volunteers in the Agule Community Health Center almost two years ago, while worshiping God beside numerous individuals, in many different buildings, and in the Body of Christ. 

 I found myself stopped.  I had reached a point in my journey of life where I could slow down and look back. 

For to long I’ve been striving, running down a path that is not always revealed.  I have forgotten what it was like to enjoy the moment, not just constantly looking to what’s next.  I had been blinded by a desire to find where God wanted me, and I realize now that it is right here, right now. 

This is where God has brought me, so why am I not focused on it? 

I found a peace because I was able to slow down and begin to reflect on all the things that have happened, from my journey last summer in West Africa and in the past months here in the Corps.  I’ve begun to see where I’ve been and where I am.  And while I’m still looking at where I’m going, I know that these experiences are exactly where God wants me. 

Sometimes, we find that a fence crosses our path, forcing us to slow down, and allowing us the opportunity to notice the beauty that God has placed in front of us.  And I know from experience that when we go hurdling over the fence and continuing headlong down the path we don’t realize where we’ve been, who we’ve encountered or what we are doing. 

God Bless and PEACE

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1 Comment »

  1. Excellent post thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading your blog very much because of your point of view on things. You have very useful information here.

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    Changing Lifestyles


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