Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.” ― Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks
Heading into the last stretch of this year, I’m sure I am not alone in wanting to see the end of 2020. December is a time to look back and review the past year, to decide what to let go of, and what to carry into 2021. My goodness this has been a hard year! I am trying to imagine the world of December 2019, and is just seems so distant, so out of touch with our lives today. Never in my lifetime has the world changed so drastically, so suddenly. My heart breaks with the cumulative grief of lives shattered and lost due to the pandemic, of people who are suffering from illness, loneliness, addiction, economic insecurity, struggling with distance from loved-ones and facing uncertain futures. In a world that was already burdened with environmental and refugee crises, this seems like one challenge too much. Yet, here we are. Finding our way towards a new “normal”, learning new ways of coping, of supporting one another, of staying connected. If ever there was a year to count our blessings, this is it. My dear ones, I am truly feeling blessed. The human capacity for resilience and innovation, for finding joy and possibility in the midst of adversity, constantly renews my faith and my own spirit. This beloved community of Vancouver Unitarians is very special. Your gifts of vision, engagement, generosity, patience, your willingness to speak your minds and also to listen, to show up, to try new things and to hold on dearly to traditions, to reach out to one another in care, to find ways to continue your creative acts of social justice, all of these things have welcomed and warmed me and my ministry, showing me again why it all matters. You prove over and over that UCV is not simply a building or a Sunday service, but a community woven tightly by common purpose and care, of faith in each other and in a future yet unknown. I am grateful to be here with you.
Our Soul Matters Theme for December asks us, “What does it mean to be a people of Stillness?” As we head into this season of Advent, of festivals of Light, of darkness and silence, may you find in yourself a place to rest in stillness to reflect on this past year, to grieve what has been lost and hold close the precious lights of hope and love. May you go into this Holiday season truly feeling and knowing that You are blessed.
Rev. Lara Cowtan