Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Suffering has its surprises

My back went out this week at the monastery. I do irrigation work in the fields during the past eight summers. Until my injury, which has kept me out of the fields, I was living under the delusion that I was very needed here to do the irrigating and that if I did not come it would really limit how much land could be irrigated for cows and horses to graze. We make money off of those animals, as we lease the land.
Being a 2 on the enneagram, I get energized when I can be helpful. Feeling needed in the "helpful" department goes along with it. Well, did I get an awakening! The monk who runs the ranch told me, "Terry, if you can't do the work, then we will just have someone else do it." Bubble burst!
But here is the good news about my hurting back. The monastery can go on just fine without me. I don't have to come here early in the summer or late spring to fulfill a "crucial" role. It opens up options to be elsewhere at times in this seasonal period. It means that I could do less physical work here and still be useful. Maybe I will learn to cook for the monks!
God is teaching me in my suffering. My ego is getting right sized again, and maybe there is another path God wants to show me. It is comforting and a big WOW! that God is the one who really needs me, and for whom I can be most a helpful 2 on the enneagram.

1 comment:

  1. Fr. Terry,
    Just a note to let you know that we miss you here in Boulder and Lyons during the summer.
    Please keep us up to date on your schedule.

    Your blogs are great for the soul and for family chats around our dinner table.

    Sorry to hear about your back. I am recovering from a hip fracture and your blog "Suffering has its surprises" was just what the doctor ordered.
    All the best,
    Dan M