Steven serves UU Santa Fe as Consulting Lifespan Learning Director
Showing up is 80 percent of life.—Woody Allen
Some days we are better off just staying in bed. I get that. I’ve done that! Sometimes disconnecting and hiding, hopefully to center and regroup, is the very best thing that one can do for self-care. That’s why retreats can be such a refreshing practice. But then there’s. . .
Then there’s, well, the other 80%—showing up for the important stuff, whether from duty, aspiration, or inclination. I have served a number of congregations and I can say with some authority that UU Santa Fe shows up pretty well for the important stuff—town halls, congregational meetings, social action, fun(d) raisers, committee work. We can demonstrate levels of engagement that other of our brother and sister churches can only aspire to. But then there’s. . .
Then there are times when we don’t. It’s a tricky thing, organizing the things that make this a Special Place. That supports you in ways you will not get from any other community or organization in your life. Things that you will find only here. Consequential things. Matters of life and death. Our minister, our leadership, myself are always trying to create the experiences here that add meaning to your life. Sometimes we get it just right. Sometimes we don’t. But then there’s. . .
Then there are times we get it just right and still only a meager few show up. That can only happen so many times before we get the message to stop offering it. Whatever its merit. My wife sings in choirs. Some of the more casual choirs have people who don’t come to rehearsal regularly because “they already know their music.” But what if the real reason for showing up was not what you could get from it, but rather that your presence was vital so that someone who was struggling could benefit from your presence?
My point is this: there are many times here when your presence is vital, not for your own self, but because of your beneficial effect on someone else. You might be the very thing they need just when they need it. As Parker Palmer writes: I no longer ask, “What do I want to let go of, and what do I want to hang on to?” Instead, I ask, “What do I want to let go of, and what do I want to give myself to?” I put it this way, “What shall you set your heart to?
What shall you set your heart to here? This place needs your love and commitment. I think it is worthy of both. And I truly believe someone else will think so too. . .when you just...show...up.
See you in church.