As I listened to a friend describe his quest, I found myself in a familiar story. He believes there are opportunities to make a difference. He is confident that he has the potential to contribute in a tangible way. As I considered his experience, approach, and capabilities, I found myself agreeing with his optimism. I shared my perspective on the challenge of connecting with opportunities.
As the dialogue continued, I realized there were emotions at all levels. Deep within the cost of being rejected continued to take its tool. I could feel an emotional rawness with each step in the quest. There was a thread of pain and fear in the voice retelling pieces of the story. This conversation was long overdue. In context, it was as if I was the answer to a repeated prayer that felt unanswered. “I’m broken by their taunts, flat on my face, reduced to a nothing. I looked in vain for one friendly face. Not one. I couldn’t find one shoulder to cry on.” (Psalm 69.20)
I found myself offering to walk with him as the quest continued. I do not know what I can do but I do know that he does not need to face things alone. Sharing the challenge always makes it easier for the one at the center.
As our conversation drifted forward I realized that there much of the plotline was replaying in my path. It is a universal story that dominates individual lives at one time or another. With the realization is a calling to be involved, engaged, and compassionate players in the lives of individuals in our lives. The quest to finds one’s place and to be a contributor as one makes one’s way is universal. The feelings of being alone in the struggle is familiar. You and I can make a difference. We can be the difference between despair and optimism.
His quest continues with a new chapter emerging. It is a process that will repeat in the future. Now and then, there is an invitation to be part of the journey.