Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lessons Along the Way

Lessons Along the Way
By Rev. Dr. Qiyamah A. Rahman

The year 2007 was all about completion for me – completion of my course requirements at Meadville Lombard Theological School, completion of my Ministerial Fellowship Committee interview, my ordination and completion of my doctoral program at Clark Atlanta University. While these were significant accomplishments and moved me closer to my ministry and life’s goals, a far greater achievement in 2007 was my ability to learn to be and to hold onto a vision and to sustain energy for that vision. The ability to nurture a vision is a gift, but I believe an even greater gift is to hold a vision and energy when circumstances do not appear to support ones vision and thus seem contradictory.

Many of you know that I applied for a Fulbright Fellowship to travel to South Africa this year. I intentionally announced it with bravado and excitement. I rallied everyone’s support in holding my vision. When individuals would see me they would ask about my plans and how things were coming. I encouraged this wholeheartedly. I had decided to go for the gusto without fear of the outcome or the need for a safety net. I enrolled all my allies, all my spiritual practices and I went to the mat on this one. It was similar to the decision to spend down my 401K to finish my Master’s of Divinity degree while others were asking pragmatic questions like how was I going to manage retirement? I was learning to trust myself and to trust the Universe in the moment.

Recently, I received word that I was not among the final recipients for the Fulbright Fellowship. I must admit there was one fleeting moment where I felt confusion. It seemed so real and I was so sure that I was going to be selected. But I didn’t feel disappointment. I immediately wondered what unseen door was opening. Because I knew that for once in my life I had given my all and that I had no regrets. I also know that when one door closes, another one opens.

I think I have finally learned the true meaning of faith. I had absolute trust in the process and gave my all. I still believe something good is in formation.

I want to thank each of you that supported me with letters of recommendation, words of encouragement and listened to my dreams and imaginings. It was a stunning success. I completely trusted the Universe to give back to me what I was reflecting.

I learned a lesson that I can apply to my intimate love relationships. I trusted unconditionally and held faith that the God consciousness in me would manifest a God conscious journey that embodies all of who I am. In the process I learned about love and what it takes to truly love someone and something. One has to commit wholeheartedly and unconditionally without worry of the outcome. One has to shout it to the world without fear of failure or worry about how one looks or whether one will succeed. In the process of creating a path to South Africa I learned lessons about faith, about my willingness to risk everything and I learned that I am deserving of the best that life has to offer. I would say that I am the real winner and the recipient of the Fellowship of Life. My future feels unlimited and I am feeling anything is possible. And for that I am most thankful!

So why didn’t the Fulbright Fellowship manifest? Because it wasn’t about South Africa. It was about me learning to speak my word into existence and trusting in myself and the Universal Consciousness. I did that and I am continuing to do that! And to the extent that I accomplished that I am in integrity with the Universal Spirit. I am standing in anticipation of the Universe’s manifestation of the good that I know is moving from the unseen to the seen even as I write these words. Stay tuned! I promise you that it will be more magnificent than anything I could have dreamed or conjured up!

Blessed Be! Rev. Dr. Qiyamah A. Rahman