I Am Not What Happened To Me…

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. Carl Jung

Meditation: A few days ago I watched an episode with the journalist Anthony Bourdain who traveled through the Congo. After the US president recently made disparaging and racist remarks about Africans and Haitians, CNN decided to show several footages from different African countries to educate US citizens. The Congo was shown to have had leadership arise in the sixties that was endorsed by the West, but that turned out to be deeply exploitive of its people. The railroad has been left to decay for many decades. I was struck by a group of about 30 people who are not being paid by the government, but who show up to work every day. Their chosen work is to fight the complete decay of the railroad system. They do this without any special resources other than their physical strength and their shared mission as a community. I was struck. How, after more than 50 years can this group of men come back to work every day without getting paid? How can it be that they have not given up? They assert that they want to be ready, in case there will be a change. A change of leadership, a change in resources, a change of politics… They are not determined by what has happened to them, but by how they choose to behave and by the vision they have about their future. What a faith! What a testimony!

Prayer: God of hope, we are inspired by our African brothers and sisters. Their hope, their endurance, their discipline and communal resistance against oppression is deeply touching. Help us all see that we are not what happens to us, but we are who we choose to become. I pray for freedom in the Congo, in the United States and in all other countries that experience oppressive regimes. Amen

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. Deuteronomy 30: 19