How much of who we are and have become throughout our lives has been carefully cultivated? On the other hand how much of who we are has just happened around us and to us? Life in so many ways can seem serendipitous, opportunities landing in timely or an untimely fashion changing the direction that we may have had in mind. How many times have you caught yourself saying, “the best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry”? This saying, written by Robert Burns in his poem, “To A Mouse” laments on how, as humans beings, we do not necessarily stay, like the mouse, in this moment but instead struggle with the past as well as the future. Rarely present in the now we wander, backing into the future uncertain of our direction.
Formation is a process of assimilating our experiences in a mindful way where we step into these opportunities daring them to form who we are becoming. The act of forming who we are changes our very identity, specifically the parts of us that one would consider to be primary to one’s Self.
The key to mindful formation is taking the time for reflection. With this in mind I am taking a sabbatical from January returning the first week in June for reflection and formation. It will be a time of travel, research and writing. This is an amazing opportunity for growth and I invite you to carve out time in your life as well to reflect on your journey and the seminal moments that have led you to this place. Take the time to realize the ways that your identity is continuing to evolve and dare to stay present in the moment. Over the next few months let us gather, imagine and prepare for that next unknown chapter in our lives and the life of First Parish.
Peace, Love and Light,