I had another meeting last night; I need to learn how to say no. It matters not how I got there, only that I'm there, waiting for the meeting to start. As I stand in line for dinner, I see some familiar faces and exchange pleasantries and small talk.
I remark on the heat, and one mom says “I know and tomorrow will be hotter, I feel bad for my son running cross country…..”
This gives me pause. I am coaching a team, a team that consists only of my two kids. Then I freeze, realizing that she’s talking about another school’s team. I blurt out “Really? We have a cross country team here at (our parish).”
“Well, you have to start somewhere!” she said breezily, and moved on. Leaving me to wonder, start where? What’s she talking about? I have a team, but my team isn’t good enough for her? In any case, it feels like a slap in the face. And gets me to wondering, what else have I kept other people from engaging in, simply because my name is attached? Should I quit? Drop out of teaching because people don’t want me teaching their kids? Drop out of other things because I don’t know what I’m doing?
It’s a rabbit hole, and I’m deep into it quickly.
She’s sitting at the table and trying to catch my eye. I’m looking past her because I am trying not to cry. The demons don’t waste time when you’re down. I stare into my lap, and will myself to sit tight. The door is behind me, and escape would be easy……
Too easy. In turn, hurt, anger, wounded pride have their way with me. And I sit. Face cast down. Knowing everything can be seen and willing myself to be still.
In the end, she makes eye contact and beams at me. I have no idea what it—or she—means by it.
So my meditation for the day is :
How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth? (Exodus 33:16)
I need to pray on this question. And listen well for the answer.