In late December or on New Year’s Eve we often review and reflect on the past year and imagine the coming year. You might ask: What goals did I set last January that were accomplished? Which resulted in disappointment and failure, despite best my best efforts? Which ones did I put aside once the true cost of what it would mean to succeed became apparent?
What do you wish you had put on the list?
I like metaphors, and when I ponder congregational life, especially in such challenging times, congregations can seem like being in an amusement park. You just never know which ride you will be on! When I was a child, we visited an amusement park in Canada called Crystal Beach, the home of The Comet, the highest wooden roller coaster in the country. When this monster ride crawled to its highest peak, all I could see below were the shallow, glistening waters of the Lake Erie shore. As the cars roared their dizzying final dash towards the ground, my life passed before my eyes. I loved it, and I wanted to go again and again!
But, sometimes, instead, congregational life can feel like the Tilt-a-Whirl or the House of Mirrors, where everything is blurry or distorted.
In a favorite Harry Potter book, Harry encounters the Mirror of Erised (Erised = Desire spelled backward!), which reflects Harry’s secret desires. When I observe the passion you have for UUCNC, I see your desires and dreams reflected there.
So my New Year’s message is this: take a break from the dizzying tasks of congregational life, and spend some time gazing into your Mirror of Erised.
January 1st may be just the flip of the calendar page.
Or it can help center and reflect your desires.
Which will it be?