Two weeks ago, our meditation asked you to consider how our acceptance of ongoing revelation affected your own search for truth and meaning, and how we might judge how responsible it is. We touched on the need to be open to change, so that we are always giving our best to the world at large. We wanted to follow that up, but the topic of hope and optimism was more pressing.
So, we follow it up this week by moving from the need to be open to change and new information and experience, and focusing for a few minutes on the need to align our goals and actions with the needs of the world. The UUA General Assembly just wrapped up in Portland, and the theme there was “Building a New Way“, and that is very fitting. More importantly, the buzz coming out of the GA at the end of this historic couple of weeks seems to be that our outreach and advocacy matter and are effecting positive change in the world, especially when we listen to the needs of those who are hurting and partner with them to make and encourage change.
This week, we ask you to think about the people in need in your community, and, looking at your talents, skills, and desires, we ask you to really consider how best to help meet those needs. Open your mind to new ways of thinking about your abilities, so that you can give your best where it is needed most. Having your own goals is important, but they are most meaningful when they are matched up so they serve others and make their lives better; when our goals help other people to also give their best back to the world.
People who use religious or spiritual language might refer to that point of conjunction, where a single cause meets a need in both your heart and the world-at-large, a “Calling”.
Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford has been calling this thing your “Burning Coal”. She told the congregation at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church, north of Austin, Texas,
“Start with the question of who or what does your heart break for, and when you can answer that, you may be on your path to finding what it is that is your Burning Coal.”
So, ask yourself not just what you love doing, but how it heals you and the world around you. Don’t spend too much time on shallow pleasures; instead, look for something that brings you joy, because when what you like doing also truly helps others, you should feel joy in doing it. It may not be constant, but it will be lasting and sustaining.
Please consider supporting my quest to fan my own burning coal by
supporting my goal to train as a Religious Educator.