Reflections on my 9-Day Service Project

Day 6

Today was different. It did not feel that I was doing much. I had to stop myself and remind myself that I had, in fact, accomplished quite a bit. Today was a day when I wasn’t moving from one activity immediately into another; a day when I had more breathing space than the first few days of my service project. Am I naturally moving into a more sustainable pace? Am I in a halfway slump?

I woke up to some texts from friends asking for Ruhi books and other materials. I’m usually not in a talkative mood in the mornings. I like to ease into the day quietly. So my phone is shut off until I’m ready to awaken. When I read the texts I had received in the early morning (obviously from a morning person!), my first reaction was to put my phone down and ignore the request until after I had had my first cup of coffee. Then I reminded myself that I am in my 9-Day Service period and I was being called to serve in whatever capacity was necessary. So the requests were answered and I felt good after the texting conversation.

I had changed my morning routine for these nine days, so my coffee comes after I say prayers, mediate and illustrate the writing I read, and walk my dog. My dog prefers this routine to my previous one! Just as I was ready to leave for our walk, I received a phone call that required I change my plans for the morning. I had to make a delivery to the bordering city. After the walk, I left to complete the delivery and some errands that I could not put off any longer, such as buy toilet paper and dog food.

Lunch eaten with my son allowed the two of us to catch up with what we were doing. He’s leaving for a climbing trip in the mountains. After lunch, I went for another home visit with another friend. We had been studying Ruhi books over the past year. For the summer, we had to take a break so today’s visit was a great way to touch base again and catch up on what had been happening with her.

I arranged for my Ruhi study partner to meet the individual I was visiting. It was a great opportunity to help them connect since one might be moving into the same area as the other. After my Ruhi study partner and I returned to my home, we were able to complete Unit 2 of Book 6. We planned our Unit 3 schedule and set the time for tomorrow’s session.

All in all, over the course of the day, I connected with six individuals, each conversation centering around some aspect of the Faith: Ruhi materials, stories about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the needs of the day in which we live, prayers and spiritually enlightening conversations, study. When talking about the needs of the day, I found it difficult to keep the conversation focused on spiritual principles. Issues like climate change, new upheavals in other countries, the upcoming federal election, or the current COVID-19 restrictions (or lack thereof) tend to easily sidetrack one’s thoughts into the wrong direction. If we are going to contribute to solutions, we need to look at the problems with a new perspective and ask different questions. The video I watched on Day 4 (Paul Lample’s keynote presentation, Reflections on the Challenge of Our Times) helped me to get the conversation back on track whenever it swayed off.

I end the day by making vegetable soup (carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic) using the broth I made from the kohlrabi leaves and stems. Most of the soup will go into the freezer for meals next month. For tomorrow’s Ruhi treat, I will make orange and apricot muffins. Since we don’t meet for our Ruhi study session until early afternoon, I will be able to get them ready before I leave for an appointment, then bake them when I get home. That way, they will be quite fresh when we start our study session!

Another step has been taken.

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