The theme for the month of March is commitment. Commitment has two almost opposite meanings: (1) the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.; and (2) an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. I’m pretty sure that when the Soul Matters team chose commitment as this month’s theme, they were thinking of the former, rather than the latter meaning.
When my daughter, Lucy, was a child, she wanted to do everything — dance, piano, softball, volleyball, and on and on. When trying something new, she would sometimes ask “What if I don’t like it?” My answer never wavered: “Try it for a while and if you don’t like it, you may quit. But, for any group activity, where other people are depending on your presence, you have to continue until a natural end — like the ballet recital or the end of softball season.”
That’s how she came to understand both aspects of commitment. So, like a real trooper, she suffered through one full season of softball. Fortunately for her, learning piano is a solo enterprise. Each year she renewed her commitment to dance, volleyball, and high school band. Over four years, she developed a solid foundation of individual and group experiences upon which she continues to build an interesting and appropriately challenging life.
In this rapidly changing world where we have become accustomed to, and accepting of, the notion of planned obsolescence, many of us are hesitant to make commitments — even to the next natural end. The pandemic has made us less confident that we can anticipate with any level of accuracy what the future might hold for us. Too many things that are out of our control or are out of our sphere of influence are negatively impacting us. So, we are stingy with our time, our talents, and our financial resources. We fear sharing what we may ourselves need later. And, that’s where commitment shows its real power, what some call synchronicity. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said:
The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise would have occurred.
A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man [or woman] could have dreamed would have come his [or her] way.
You are invited to participate in the ongoing process of co-creating a beloved community at UCE through your contributions of time, talent, and financial resources. In the month of March, we ask you to renew your commitment to the UCE by pledging an amount that you can comfortably contribute in the next year toward building a beloved community at UCE and beyond.
Blessings, Rev. Lee Anne