It's been two weeks since I got back from Australia and the World Youth Day adventures. I'd like to say that the "I've just experienced something intensely moving and I want to go change the world!" feeling has not died down. But you know how it goes - you get back into the busyness of work, catching up with friends, visiting family members, going on road trips, restocking the pantry, going out to eat or grabbing an ice cream cone... Where does one have time to reflect a pilgrimage experience, or the ways in which your life has been graced by God and the Holy Spirit?
Well God works in mysterious ways. During these past two weeks, I've attended a Theology on Tap presentation by past Charis Apostolic Board member Beth Knobbe called "Friendship in a Fast-Paced World" and I've signed up to be a volunteer for St. Vincent DePaul Church's chapter of SPRED (helping developmentally and physically disabled children from 6-10 years old explore their spirituality). One thing I learned in Australia is that giving and being present to others in an unconditional and unselfish way is important to me, and something I had lost since moving to the fast-paced, materialistic, and egocentric city of Chicago. It's time to focus on me, my relationship with God, my friendships, and the ways I can give back to the community in a way that is meaningful and uplifting. It won't be easy, but I'm ready to start!