"For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes." - Dag Hammarskjold

Sunday, July 21, 2013

celebrating lives greatly full :: jack murta

I am honoured to share a post by Jack Murta today.  Jack is a fellow member of the World Community for Christian Meditation; I first met him at one of the local meditation groups.  I soon learned that Jack not only speaks of gratitude, he lives it. His has been a life dedicated to service on so many levels.  He served as a Member of Parliament for 18 years and now spends his "retirement" (ha!) focussing on those issues that are most dear to him.  

He quietly serves behind the scenes on many boards and, most recently, served as interim Executive Director of The Ottawa Mission.  He also serves his faith community in many ways, including serving as President of the National Prayer Breakfast and starting a christian meditation group at The Ottawa Mission. Add multiple marathons and half-marathons to the list and what you have is a man who inspires us to go the distance and serve our community in any way we can, with humility and love.  Thank you Jack, for your example... and for your contribution to *the gratitude project*!   

What DECISION am I most grateful for and why?  

The decision that I am most grateful for is the decision to say “yes” when a friend asked me to join the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Mission. It is always remarkable to me that the things we are most thankful for can start out by being the smallest acts of community service.    

A number of years ago I was asked to join the board of the Ottawa Mission which is a large men’s homeless shelter just a few minutes from Parliament Hill. While being on the board, I then volunteered 2 hours per week in the kitchen and helped to serve a noon meal (we provide 1250 hot meals a day). I was nominated to the position of Vice-President of the board, then President and finally to the position of interim Executive Director of the Mission. I have since stepped aside to go back on the Board since the Mission has now hired a permanent Executive Director. 

My time working as Executive Director with homeless men has truly been life changing.

Being with the poor and understanding that they have so very little to offer, has lead me to discover that I am also poor!

I find that I am poor when my defences get stripped away and I have nothing to offer except to just sit and listen, to be a friend, to say, “I don’t know the answer but I will be there for you”. That is when I begin to feel truly poor, truly humble.  

I find that as we go through life we all do so much posturing, always wanting to share our qualities and successes whenever we meet other people. It is interesting to note that when you share your weakness and difficulties, you are more helpful to others than by sharing your qualities and successes.   

I am grateful for being asked to work with the less fortunate because I have personally learned a great deal from them.

I believe that I have become a better listener; I try not to judge as quickly; I give advice more sparingly and I know that I have developed a deeper faith. 

Like so many people I have found that the more I give of myself the more I receive.

Who would have ever thought that my life would have been so enriched by being part of a homeless shelter?


1 comment:

  1. Jack, I would love to contact you! It's Kat from the Mission (I used to prick your ears in mediation time).... please get a hold of me through this project. Thanks so much, Kat