For this Thanksgiving week, I am reposting this piece about gratitude that I wrote in February, 2014:
“I believe that the whole world about me is full of beauty, joy and power, even as it is full of God, and that I can share it and enjoy it if I attune myself to my Divine Plan and am inwardly open toward God and outwardly helpful toward [others].” ~ Glenn Clark, The Divine Plan
A moment of personal connection. Meeting a SIA entrepreneur in Kasozi, Uganda in 2014.
I have a tendency to get caught up in the details of work. I like to organize things and plan next steps, moving from task to task. And sometimes I lose sight of the bigger picture. When I read the quote above by Glenn Clark, I was jolted back into considering how all the work I do for Spirit in Action is part of my fuller life; something that inseparable from all other parts of my life.
The quote captures it perfectly. I have been blessed to see a world of hope, beauty, goodness, and possibility around me. And when I stop to be grateful I am reminded to thank God (“inwardly open toward God”) and share this vision and hope with others (“outwardly helpful toward others”).
Values at work
“How did you get into this work?” a student at Illinois College asked me after I presented about SIA. As in, how does one come to want to work for a non-profit?
When I started working for SIA six years ago [Note: 8 years ago now, in 2015!] I had just left my job at an insurance company. It was after the switch that I realized the importance (for me) of working for an organization that has emotions, learning, and faith built into its very fabric. At SIA, those things I value most – including the desire to spread goodness – won’t be pushed aside.
This alignment of values and work doesn’t only happen in non-profts. I can trace my desire for passionate work to my artist parents and my professor husband. When the sole focus isn’t on profit organizations, universities, and businesses can afford to spend more time focused on people and relationships.
Job+ Through Spirit in Action
I’m not the only one at SIA who feels and knows this job+ concept. Our inward/outward vision is also built into the Small Business Fundprogram.
The families that receive our $150 grants also receive emotional and practical support from the local SBF coordinators. In line with Glenn Clark’s vision for a good life, each is encouraged on their individual spiritual journey (“inwardly open toward God”) and asked to pay-it-forward through Sharing the Gift (“outwardly helpful toward others”).
Working together with so many people to improve ourselves and serve those around us is a blessing that is more than just work. Thank you for joining me in this good, full life.
[Featured picture: Tanya with Dennis Kiprop, apassionate SIA Small Business Fund coordinator in Eldoret, Kenya, and his family.]