As the software demonstration reached halfway, I was impressed. The development team had taken the criticisms to heart and had done something about it. What was clunky and cumbersome was now flexible. This software had potential! The possibility of easily adapting it to our environment was real. I had one question that would not leave.
“How many languages have you adapted this software to?”
“All? Are you sure?”
“Do you have any idea how many languages and major dialects there are in India?”
“Take a guess.”
“No, try again. You are orders of magnitude off.”
He looked at me puzzled. I asked him again how many languages this software supported. He smiled and said, “Many.”
I realized I have been him far too often. I think I am flexible and adaptable, totally willing to be what is needed (translation into every language equivalent). Then I discover that there is a limit to my generosity. I discover a language that I do not understand and I rebel. Rather than opening myself up to more, I retreat and end up with many, not all. It is as if limits need to apply to everything in my life.
What if I was able to free give and receive? What would this look like?
I do not have the complete image. I do know that the first step would be a sharing of everything that I receive. My prayer would have echoed Paul’s; “May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father, and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours.” (1 Corinthians 1.3)
I know that I have a long way to go to be truly unselfish. I also know that I can start somewhere. I can start now. I can begin when what I can let go. And I can move forward, learning from when I cannot. Today begins a fresh start. I know I have limitations. This knowledge opens me up to the possibility of letting go what I can and using the experience to give me strengthen me for more.