I have been watching young people play soccer this fall and admire their dedication and that of their parents. It probably is more fun than Sunday School, but we offer a team sport too, and moral and spiritual development; unfortunately, their effects are not as readily apparent as physical prowess and the joy of winning. However, both are important, valuable investments. For example, being spiritually centered leads to more creative and positive responses to the challenges of life, and moral development leads to being a part of the solution rather than the problem of injustice.
There will be times when we may be driven to search for some meaning beyond fun, and to assess what we have done with our lives. I love skiing, but if that was my main priority, I would be missing out on those experiences that are fulfilling like the meaning that comes with serving a higher purpose, like the satisfaction that comes through loving relationships, which are not always fun.
I am a devoted Bronco fan; however, it is just a game; if life is approached as such, one starts to see others as opponents not partners, as means not ends, and then you miss out on the powerful feeling of connection that transcends the tension of opposition. I enjoy travel, but if you spend most of your time moving about you miss out on the experience of being known as a full human being not just a paying tourist who is only seeing the surface of life while passing through.
I work out a few times a week because I know it is important for my physical health. How dedicated are you to your spiritual and moral development? Do you meditate, serve the needy, connect with a community of faith, or do you ignore the life of the Spirit and pursue material success and fun? What kind of experiences do you want to cultivate? Oliver Wendell Holmes, a Unitarian layman said he attends church because, “There is a little plant called reverence in the corner of my soul’s garden, which I love to have watered once a week.”
Our church team knows that there is more to life than winning. There is love and the goodness of justice. We tap into the source of reverence and bring out the best in people. You can too. This is TRUU.
Rev. Stephan Papa