Wednesday, July 14, 2010


            Last night was my first meeting with CTON. If I were told two weeks ago that I’d be sitting in a planning meeting, I probably could have believed it, but in what capacity? That’s where I found myself last night. Participating on the side-lines, offering ideas, burning with a desire to get involved, and silently praying that an opportunity would present itself.

            Of the six other people sitting in out circle in the waiting room at the Flood offices, I was probably the least qualified to be there, with the least experience, the least connections, and the least pull. But, there it was. The opportunity was the fact that I was there. Possibly talent unrealized.

            For years I have felt the desire to be involved with a charity organization. Throwing money at a need doesn’t satisfy me, and besides, I don’t have much money to give. Katrina, the California fires, the Haiti earthquake… I gave, but my heart was yearning to get to those places and bury my hands in the dirt and dig people out. I would get discouraged when I would look into getting involved and find that I don’t have the funds to help. So I’ve sat firmly in my seat with my heart burning for something more.

            Since joining the Flood community, I’ve been involved in every volunteer opportunity that has come my way. I made the decision that what I couldn’t offer monetarily, I would offer through time and service, even if it were something that no one else really wanted to do. If I had the time, there was absolutely no reason why I couldn’t offer my help.

            I met Holly two weeks earlier when we were both coaching basketball for the Fripple Games. She mentioned that she would be absent one of the days because she got called for a work meeting. I made my first brush with COTN when I asked her what she did. Then she began to talk about how she had passed over getting involved because of finances and finally she took the leap and got involved. Her honesty in admitting to me the struggle to raise funds and keep from depleting her entire savings sparked something. At that point I simply said, “I want to know more.”

            A week later, on Monday, we were meeting for lunch, viewing photos of Holly’s past trip to the Dominican, and discussing in depth the process of getting involved. She then invited me to sit in at their next meeting on Tuesday. At the meeting I got to offer ideas, meet the other people either already involved, or also interested in getting involved, and learn how the process works.

            The interesting thing is that I wasn’t only new, but the whole group that we are attempting to put together is brand new. This means that there is no manual. We are creating an official satellite office in San Diego from scratch. It is a terrifying and exciting thing to try to wrap your mind around. The group is attempting to break new ground knowing it means that we will be somewhat on our own. I sat, jotting down ideas and making small talk about Ohio with the other buckeyes in the room.

            In my head I was asking myself if this was something I could do, if I could be an asset, would I be able to follow through? Sometimes I ask myself these questions just to double check a decision I have already come to. It’s my one last chance to talk myself out of it, but I already knew that my heart was telling my head that there was no going back.

            After the meeting, I walked up to Holly and handed her the list of ideas I made and told her that I wanted to come on board as staff. I said, “I don’t know what I can do, but here are my hands, take them and use them.”

Here we go…

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there are always some obstacles in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. – Alfred D. Souza.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:6-7