Our ministry theme for February is resilience. While we didn’t choose this theme with the weather in mind, it occurs to me now that February calls for a certain kind of resilience. Especially in those years in which the snow and cold never seem to let up, February can be tiresome for many of us. We grow tired of win-ter—tired of shoveling, shivering, icy roads, cars not starting, drafty doors and windows, high heating bills, stuffed noses, sore throats, fevers and all the other little annoyances that seem to add up by the time February comes around. Yes, winter is beautiful in New England. Yes, winter speaks to our spiritual instinct for nurture, rest and reflection. But yes, winter also starts to weigh heavily on us. There are still seven weeks before spring. We need to be resilient.
Of course resilience isn’t only about the weather. In selecting this theme, we acknowledge that each of us faces challenges at various times in our lives. Each of us encounters pain, disappointment, loss, grief, stress, anxiety, confusion. Each of us lives through periods when we lack clarity, when the future is not certain, when hope seems hard to conjure. These are times when we need to find sources of strength, grounding and resolve. These are times when we need some anchor, some solid ground beneath us, some horizon out in front of us. These are times when we need to be resilient.
So, I’m wondering: What has been your pathway to resilience in difficult times? What has kept you grounded in the midst of chaos? What has kept you anchored in the stormy seas of your life? I encourage you to share your answers to these questions with others in the congregation. Let’s talk about resilience!
*** Please note that I am taking the week off from February 18-24. This is school vacation week and I am committed to taking some much-needed family time.
With love, Rev. Josh