When sharing in life is the mission of an organization, every project and task must come from the heart. When the goal is to make sure that all constituents feel valued and able to contribute to the community, regardless of their personal limitations, then it’s not check-it-off work – it has to come from the heart or it just won’t work.

That’s the focus of one of my favorite clients, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan. Last night I had the gift of attending an event for LSSM, which featured one of their many programs, services for unaccompanied refugee minors.

A girl from Congo whose mother was shot in front of her eyes shared her story in lilting English. She’s trying for her high school degree. She’ll be 21 soon. Her life started over because of the goodness of the Lansing LSSM folks.

We sat next to a couple who have fostered 21 children on their way from dangerous homelands to reunite with family here in America. They pointed to a pile of shoes representing all the children who have come through their family. Yes, some of them arrived in flip-flops in November. They talked about learning to make pupusas so some food was familiar to these children in a strange land, so far from home.

Sharing in life. Focused on making sure others feel a sense of contribution.

The work we do depends on the perspective we bring to it. Do we love our work or is it drudgery? Are we simply collecting a paycheck? Or are we devoted to making a difference?

I know that in many parts of the world, work is simply a means to survival. If we are lucky enough to choose our work, to reside with disposable income, then shouldn’t we take care to make sure it’s a purpose we believe in? That we do what we do with passion and gusto?

There is no excuse for hating one’s work. Because the feelings of discontent come from within. We can see the world as good and we can see it as bad. It’s our choice. Walk left or walk right.

Of course, first we have to heal the holes in our own hearts. And only then can we march onward with a full heart focused on others.

It’s a sunny warm Friday here, and life is good. But isn’t it always good? The sunrise over the golf course across from my house was pink and orange, with light white frost on the undulating hills of green. The house was quiet.

It’s been a week of not meditating first thing in the morning, and staying out late at night for work events. It’s a week that has led me by the nose, rather than me taking charge. As long as I stay connected to source, I will be fine.

But I am surely glad it’s the end of the week and I can work quietly in my lovely home. I am glad I can spend weekend hours getting the garden cleaned up and ready for spring. I am glad that there are waves to time – sometimes swells and gales and sometimes light little flickers, a calm lake in the middle of a hot summer day. A good sailor rides the waves and respects the sea.

If I can say anything, a mantra to march along to, it’s that I’m grateful for every moment. Even the troubling ones, even the ones that go by in a flash.

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