While Project participant spend a fair amount of time and energy on working out, eating right,completing assignments, submitting journals, attending meetings and so forth, and while much of this can appear very self directed or even selfish, it isn't; in fact, it's quite the opposite. Case in point, around Week 8 of the Project, I begin to shift everyone's focus towards the world and others around them, how they relate to it all. I also encourage participants to consider how they impact the environment around them and how they influence those they are in contact with each day, and how they are giving back. The point is to understand that while "I" have to get things in order with "my" personal health, fitness, and well-being, at the end of the day it ain't about "me". A golden teaching 0pportunity arose at our Project meeting a couple weeks ago and it occurred as I was sharing this very point. One of our Recruits is having a tough time, having gone through divorce in the past year and her recent loss of her job. Times are tough for many, yet she was getting it from all sides and was really having a rough go of it with threats of foreclosure and empty pantries on the horizon. A couple of fellow recruits felt inspired to help out in some way, and it was decided to pass the word and gather a collection of gift cards from grocery stores and so forth. While I'm not sure the final total (some cards had no amount written on them or were in envelopes), I do know that we were able to collect a few hundred dollars which we presented to her at last weekends meeting.
While the gifts certainly can't solve her problems, I know it made a huge difference in her perception and gave her some breathing space and an opportunity to evaluate where she is and gain some perspective on her life. And, she knows she is cared for, prayed for, and supported by the entire Project community. Now that is priceless. It was also priceless for those who gave selflessly to someone in need.
"Here is a "thank you email" I received this week, and it was asked that I pass it along:
"Wow, I am still in awe by all of your generosity. How can I thank you? I have to admit it was hard for me to comprehend for awhile. After I left Saturday's meeting I went for a long walk on the canal to let it all soak in. I said a lot of thank you's and praises to God for bringing all of you into my life when I needed you most. I am truly blessed to know you. I am sending you all huge hugs of thanks and appreciate your kindness. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!"