“The most important thing is to find out what is the most important thing.”
What is it?--Your Most Important Thing? Becoming more intelligent? Losing 10 pounds? Eating a Mediterranean diet? Enlightenment? Baseball? Your children? Your relationships? Understanding? Your credit rating? Your spouse? Graduating from college? Buying a house? Grace? Mindfulness? Emptiness? M&M's? Not knowing? Remission from cancer? The next big sale? Enjoying life? Fulfillment? Happiness? Chocolate? Getting what you want? Being there for others? To walk humbly with your god? Love? Mystery? Making it through another day? Closing the deal? Finishing what you started? Freedom from fear? A full bowl of rice? Music? Sunrise? Doing the right thing? Respect? Honor? Duty? One more day with a loved one?
How Do You Know? Is The Most Important Thing something to know? To do? To experience? To have? Is it manifest in presence or absence? How will you know if it is The Most Important Thing? Will you know it in your head? In your heart? In your body? In your soul? Will you keep second-guessing yourself about it? Will you ever find it? Are you supposed to find it? Can you strive for it? Can you seek for it, or just make room inside yourself so that when it finds you, there is a place for it to rest?
Then What? Will The Most Important Thing change from time-to-time? And once you have it, what will you do with it? Hide it? Run away from it? Bless it? Curse it? Embrace it? Die for it? Practice it? Worship it? Share it? Pass it along to someone else? So many questions. You're going to tell me what you think it is, Steven, aren't you? No, sorry. I'm not going to do that. I'm not sure I know myself. And that's OK. Because I am here with you in this Special Place. And that's one of the reasons we are here together--to come to know what is important in our lives--and to come to this knowing together. To experience it and express it in our communion and in the unfolding of our lives.
Let's find out together.
See you in church.
Interim Religious Educator
An intentional life of sacred purpose begets a mission-driven church. ― Steven Mead
People First, Then Mission
You can't create a vital, transformative church until you create vital, transformed individuals. Said another way, you can't develop and maintain a mission-driven church unless you have motivated, purpose-driven people. Let me repeat that: people first, then mission―not the other way around. As Saint-Exupery reminds us, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” At this Church, it is our mission to call forth the "yearning individual" first, grounding and maturing us in the spiritual practices from our Sources and focusing on those called forth in our Principles and found in our worship community. If you want your church-cup to overflow with sacred purpose, it must first be filled with people of sacred yearning and aspiration. Creating Church is collective Soul Work. An intentional life of sacred purpose begets a mission-driven church.
“Don't try to rush things: for the cup to run over, it must first be filled.” ― Antonio Machado
Yo the Lighthouse!
There is an apocryphal story about the brilliant Renaissance artist Michelangelo, who, when asked about the difficulties that he must have encountered in sculpting his masterpiece David, merely replied, "It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David." Sometimes that story is told about carving an elephant―chip away what doesn't look like elephant. How do you make of this congregation a Lighthouse? What does that look like? It’s a similar process: together, chip away the stuff that doesn't look like a lighthouse.
How often do we mistake our church for a clubhouse instead of a lighthouse? Focus on endurance rather than transformation? Forget that this congregation gathers together for sacred purpose? How do we cast "a light which shows a feast?" Perhaps it is as de Saint-Exupéry reminds us in The Little Prince, "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Perhaps it starts with yourself and the lighthouse within. See with your heart. 'Yo the Lighthouse!
Come, open to be moved.
Come, be held in mutual embrace.
Come, engage the world.
Come here and be made whole.
See you in church.
Interim Director of Children and Youth Ministries