Spiritual Pathways

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. – The Dalai Lama

This month, I’m sharing one of the messages that I delivered in young people’s chapel. It seems relevant to the way I would like to greet 2019.

“There is a New Year’s tradition to make resolutions. Resolutions are promises you make to yourself about who you want to be. As Unitarian Universalists we believe each person is important and that we should all work for a peaceful, fair, and free world. Resolutions are one way to remind us to believe in ourselves and let our inner light shine. Did you know that you have the power to shape the future? The choices and changes you make help create the future.

“We all have the power to act as prophets and change the future. If you could promote just one change in the world at this time, what would it be? What issue is important to you? Do you think other people also think it’s important? [Our young people shared amazing responses…]

“Rev. Rebecca Parker wrote, “It is better to see [the prophet] as the crest of a wave, the sparkling foam breaking brightly from the force of a whole ocean moving and swelling up from underneath.”

“So, we are all part of creating and keeping a fair and free world. I like the expression “Everyday Acts and Ordinary Rebellions.” It reminds me that each day, every minute, we are making choices about how to act and what to pay attention to. Some examples of everyday acts and ordinary rebellions are:

• Being kind to someone you have usually ignored;
• Standing up for someone being made fun of;
• Sharing your idea or experience even though you are afraid;
• Speaking up when your idea or opinion is different from most;
• Refusing to go along with your friends when they are doing something hurtful or unkind or wrong.

“We can help each other with this. We are stronger and smarter together. When we work together we can feel connection, have, and make progress. We can remind ourselves of what needs to be done and thank each other for what we have already accomplished. In fact, one of the reasons that people come to Unitarian Universalist congregations, like this one, is that we believe we can and should move together and help each other as we experience all kinds of feelings, both happy and sad. We learn and grow throughout our lives.

“When we share our stories here, we build community, knowing that our church is a place where people want to celebrate our joys with us, support us through our struggles, and take interest in our hopes and dreams. To really know us.

“As you leave chapel today, you may drop a bead into our bowl as you think about a hopeful change you will keep in your heart and help to make happen in 2019.”

Take good care . . .

Cathy Seggel
Director of Religious Education