I was recently asked why I chose to involve myself in the JOY program. My response was that I wanted to be “uncomfortable”. Last year was my first year of retirement and I was purposely protective of my new found freedom
and flexibility, avoiding any firm commitments. But when I heard about the JOY program last spring, I decided that perhaps I needed to move out of that very comfortable zone and see where my life’s journey might be taking me next.
Discomfort I have found! What has contributed to that discomfort? Through the presentations and visits made in the orientation and two weekends thus far, I have been confronted with my own attitudes, biases and judgments shaped by my life experience. Through my volunteer placement I have been confronted with the uncertainty of my own life journey. I have also become more strongly aware of my own fears and why it is easier just not to know about some realities. Once you are aware, then it becomes difficult and yes, uncomfortable to know and to not act.
I have been blessed to hear generous, sacrificial actions of people in our community responding to need and serving others. Perhaps more important than what they are doing is their passion for their work in responding to the needs of others. I have progressed toward seeing and understanding the worthiness of very person that is in no way dependent on what they can contribute to society. They are loved by God just as they are.
So as I move forward in this “uncomfortable” but growing experience, I am supported by the community of participants, by my faith that tells me that God is present and will guide me most assuredly to what my ultimate response will be.