May We Be Receptive to New Knowledge
By Emily Nilsen, Nicaragua (Peace Corps Volunteer)
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. -Matthew 4:1-2 NRSV
A dicho (saying) that I’ve been learning to take to heart says, hay mas tiempo que vida (“there is more time than life”). It speaks to the idea that life isn’t meant to be spent rushing from place to place full of worry, anxiety, and an obsession with time. Rather, life is to be experienced a bit more slowly.
We hopped in a taxi to get to a meeting the other day. The taxi driver stopped multiple times to chat through his window with people on the street. He was in no hurry and why should he be? Hay mas tiempo que vida.
This slower-paced mentality was quite difficult for me at the beginning of our time in Nicaragua, but I tried to really lean into it. Now that work has picked up and our projects are gaining momentum, I’m trying not to lose this important lesson. Thus far, I feel that with a little organizational help, I’ve been able to combine my natural desire for order and extreme color coding with relaxing in a hammock, chatting with our host mom, or enjoying the view on a two-hour bus ride to a town 25 miles away.
Life is just different here.
I’ve found I can live with less anxiety, live into my purpose, and still get a lot done by embracing different ways of living and understanding. Some of the ideas that stick with me so strongly-multigenerational living, open air houses, using public transit-do exist in the US, even if they exist for different reasons (poverty vs. affluence). The US is a mix of cultures and ways of living. But I’m continually being asked to look at something a little differently just by living in and around these other realities.
You can live a fulfilling and meaningful life without traveling far from your home.
You don’t need air conditioning, or hot water, or a private car. They’re nice, but not needs.
Pride for one’s home and country exists all over the world.
Your neighbors and community are important. Take care of each other.
I love that a third of our job here is to learn as much as we possibly can about our post in hopes that we can someday share it back home, to help build a world with a little less fear and a little more understanding.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.