January Theme: Possibility

DonSense – Rev. Don Garrett & the Soul Matters Sharing Circle

January: What does it mean to be a people of Possibility?

Of all our topics this year, possibility is arguably most central to our faith. Historically, when others saw depravity and sin at the core of human identity, we saw potential – sometimes with hardly any boundaries. When many were preaching that this world was fallen, and we should look instead to the hope of an afterlife, we found ourselves falling in love with the possibility of heaven on earth. Theologically, you might say that we were the people that believed that God hadn’t given up on any of us and so we shouldn’t give up on each other or this world. Psychologically, it’s led to us being a people of “why not?” Why not give people another chance? Why not fight what seems a losing battle? Why not risk a little failure? After all, to us the possible has always seemed more likely than not!

So that’s our religion. But what about us personally? How open have you been recently to “Why not?” How’s your faith in possibility doing? As we honor our religion’s trust in what’s possible, we need to allow space for the reality that trusting possibility isn’t so easy for many of us.

We tell ourselves so many small things about who we and others are. And we know that’s not really because we’re pessimistic. More often than not, it’s about protecting ourselves. There’s comfort in convincing yourself that the work is hopeless; that way you don’t have to try and risk failure, hurt or disappointment yet again.

All of which is to say that maybe being a people of possibility has more to do with being a people of vulnerability and courage than we’ve thought. The work isn’t just about believing in possibility. It’s about doing and acting and living into possibilities that can change everything.

This is an exciting and challenging time at UUCLV! As our Transformational Planning process reaches the critical phase of seeking congregational endorsement, people are beginning to respond: some in excited anticipation, some with concern. But that’s the nature of change – we need to stay rooted in a firm embrace of the possibilities of the future in order to let go of some of the way things always have been.

Change is never easy, but it can be wonderful. I invite you to think of the miracle of birth – not easy, but all the promising possibilities of new life can make it all worthwhile.

See you in church.