I have nearly completed my two-week orientation in Mexico City with Incarnate Word missionaries. Long days packed with teachings by various credentialed instructors on everything from understanding one’s identity and Liberation theology to the spiritual concepts of interior cultivation.
My knees speak to me every night, wondering when I’m going to pick up my exercise routine and yoga poses again. And my healthy, nearly vegetarian diet learned the word “adios” soon after we arrived.
But despite the changes and adaptations, and the continued uncertainty of how things will go while I’m away from home, I am happy to be here. What I feel and hear and experience resonates within me that this is where I belong. The three-day retreat we recently had at a Benedictine Monastery in Cuernavaca only reaffirmed my decision. During the silence, while wandering the beautiful grounds, I discovered yet another metaphor in yet another tree — I have a thing for trees — about the gift of not resisting, of being willing to go underground and hang out in the darkness for awhile, just as the seed does. What emerges will be completely new and surprising — like the humongous, glorious tree that stood before me.
Tomorrow is our commissioning, or sending-off, ceremony. I feel excited and joyful while still unsure of what’s ahead. What will life be like as a missionary in San Antonio? What will I encounter along the way? How will I deal with the anxiety and loneliness that’s certain to arise? These are questions I cannot answer now. Just as we have been taught this week, all I can do is be present. Present to what is here. Now. And this is exactly where God is.