Welcome to my web log! (blog) I hope that these entries will give you a glimpse into my world and the spirit I bring to my ministry. I write new entries every week, so check out the archives and check in again soon. Looking forward to beginning ministry with UUCFM in the fall!

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This past Sunday my home congregation’s pastor preached about making space in our lives.  She began by talking about how we humans tend to take everything to the extreme- extreme sports, extreme addictions, and extreme behavior.  These extremes take us to the edge and leave no margin, no space where we can grow in faith, in reflection.  She also stressed that “extreme living,” a drama-driven lifestyle, does nothing for growing and deepening the relationships that are the most important to us.

The middle path, a way of balance and harmony, is nearly impossible to attain.  However, it is worth the effort.  Maybe you have seen it happen in the lives of your loved ones or in yourself:  the pendulum is over to one extreme and then, in an extreme reaction, it swings to the other extreme.  And hopefully, at some point, the swinging will settle in the middle.  

Perhaps this is why I so love karate practice- a moving meditation that requires a balance between many extremes (hard and soft/ empty and full/ relaxed and focused/ disciplined and unattached).  Before seated meditation, we will sometimes do the zen-style walking meditation.  Each takes their own pace, and I so enjoy feeling every point of contact with the floor, the heel softly kissing the earth, the slow roll through the instep, and then the ball of the foot sighing as it peels away from the wood floor.  And to notice the knees, the muscles in the legs flexing and holding weight, glory hallelujah!  The extremes of binary thinking fall away to the totality of experience.

 In his writings, German theologian and ethicist Dietrich Bonhoeffer so often emphasized the “both/and” totality of life.  In Nazi Germany he witnessed first hand how an “either/or” extreme logic led to both spiritual and physical death.   We musn’t live our lives in an all or nothing fashion.  So much of the messy wildness of life ends up in the gray areas.  These are the spaces where we as Unitarian Universalists can embrace the ambiguity in ways that other organizations cannot.  We leave space and margins in the book of life, where both certainty and uncertainty can live together on the page.

I hope you are able to look at the “either/or” situations in life and see how a “both/and” approach could make more space in your life for hope and healing.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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