The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.~Norman Vincent Peale
It’s hard for me to believe that the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice trip is already only a few weeks away. I remember when our tiny core team of five was beginning to print posters advertising for the trip. I remember nervously scrambling to prepare myself for our information nights and sitting at a table out on the mall one afternoon, hoping to get people to sign up to go.
There were weeks that were much more stressful than others, weeks when it seemed like we would never get all the logistics figured out, weeks where I was only too aware of how soon our pre-trip retreat was coming up, a sign that departure day was near.
Despite the stress and the sometimes not knowing what I was doing or how I would get all my tasks done before the trip, the entire time I held onto the idea that I was a part of something so much bigger than myself. I couldn’t help but think of how great it would feel to come back from the IFTJ, look at my fellow core members, and think Wow, we pulled it off! What a success!
Before this semester, I’d never helped plan anything as big as our campus involvement in the IFTJ. My main job was planning and leading our pre-trip retreat. I had a vague idea of what I wanted the retreat to be like, but no clear way of how to lead it. And as the core team knows by now, I work better when I know exactly what I’m doing, down to the last detail.
Now that we’re almost done planning and the trip is drawing near, I can see that being a part of the core team was an invitation to be a part of something bigger than myself.
I learned first hand what it’s like to have a goal, or idea for something, start almost completely from scratch, and turn it into a reality. When it seemed hard to take a vague idea and make it a clear plan, I learned how to stumble through the details with my team and work together until we knew exactly what we were doing.
Perhaps the most important lesson though, was knowing that this trip was bigger than anything I could do on my own, that it would take all five us helping each other out and working through the details together to make it a success.
In a way, that realization was reassuring. The trip didn’t hinge on my brilliant ideas or blind stumbling alone. It was our collaboration, determination, and desire to take part in something beyond ourselves that made us a team and pulled this trip together. And it’s that teamwork that will see it through.
CCSJ Student Coordinator
Class of 2015
The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.