From our Lead Minister
Jan. 16, 2018
A graduating student I once mentored recently gave me a crystal ball as a thank-you present. I don’t remember ever looking into a crystal ball before. It is beautiful – much like looking into the ice on Radnor Lake during our recent cold spell – a composition of cloudy striations and cracks in a milky ground spotted with a core of transparent clarity. Looking into it is much like looking for shapes in clouds drifting by. I can see why people gaze into them to see their waking dreams of the future.
I remember graduating from undergraduate school feeling joyless because I had no idea what the future would bring. I was scared. Over the decades I learned that there are many possible futures and that no one is really better than another as long as we stay present to the moment and adjust our course as we go. This morning, I was reminded how hard that can be for me to do. My future was planned: go to the office, go through my check-list of to-do’s and meetings. Of course, the snow fell with school and road closings that required I change my plans – as you changed yours. At first, I felt anxious about how I was going to get my to-do list done. I am not as good as some of you using technology to seamlessly do what needs to be done wherever I am. Then, I was annoyed at the time it took me to re-plan my day with everyone who I was going to meet with. Talk about creating my own misery.
I knew I needed to shock myself back into the moment. So, I put on my snow boots and went outside. It was like walking into that beautiful crystal ball. The snow gently fell, filling the air with a soft, dry stillness. It transformed trees into graceful linear gestures and magnified the chirping of the birds having their own conversations about their changing routines. I was walking through cloudy mystery spotted with transparent clarity. By walking up my street, I was able to both return to the day as it is – and accept that I could transform my expectations of what I thought it would be. As I sit here at my laptop, all I have to do is look out the window to be grateful for the beauty of this day and this future that I did not choose, but can celebrate. It is, indeed, one of many possible futures, all of which are full of life.
With faith and love,