“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important.
You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power,
may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that
doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never
know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing,
there will be no result.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
In what seems like a win-at-all-costs society and in situations where it seems like the odds of existing, and being part of, with authenticity and integrity are slim to none, it can be hard to know what to do. It can also be very tempting to throw my hands up, pull back or walk away and fall prey to a “why bother?” attitude and to think, “what difference does it make?”
As I sit with the question, “When is it okay for me to walk away?” and pray about a particular situation, I think of a quote I saw recently, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” (Edward Everett Hale, American politician). As I think about this quote, I take a turn and my prayer moves to the questions, “Is there anything I can do? What can I do before deciding whether or not to walk away?”
I can speak up, sharing with those involved and privy to the situation what is in my heart and on my mind with love, care and concern, regardless of what may or may not come of it. My words may not make a difference in a way that I can see now, in a way that I might ever see, or at all. If I speak up though, and what I say is rooted in prayer and consistent with the words and example of the Divine, I give voice to the Truth that has arisen from within me. Then, if I do end up walking away, at least I can do so with a greater sense of freedom and no regrets. I can be at peace knowing that I saw something, it did not hold up when I held it up to the Light, and at a time and in a way in which I felt called to do so, I shared my concerns and spoke my piece regarding it.
So what is left? If I am looking toward what I can do, I can continue to pray for a positive and life-giving resolution, whatever that may be. I can also continue to ask God for the grace to trust that I did what I felt called to do and that God will do what is best, and when it is best, for all involved. In addition, I can continue to wait to make a decision about walking away. God helped me to know when to speak and what to say. “Certainly,” I tell myself, “God will help me to know when it is time to walk away.” My job for now is to wait and listen.
“The seed is the word of God.” – Luke 8:11
The seed is given to me (to us) through Scripture, prayer and revelation. It is a gift from God. What am I to do with it? First, and foremost, listen to it (be still and be aware)…embrace it with a heart of love (be open to it)…persevere in it and through it (be faithful, be patient and trust). These are all things that I can do. When I do them, what to do, eventually, becomes clear.