Happy New Year! or, mid-year depending on when your year starts. Our culture inspires us to see the world and our lives anew. This is a month to consider and reconsider how we live our lives. It is time to make the popular New Year’s resolutions.
Typical resolutions are about exercise and diet. We promise ourselves to save more money, or waste less and recycle more and other measures of reform. We review the past year in endless countdowns and montages to think of how things went and maybe how they could be better next year. 2016 at UUFA went really well by many measures. We invested in the building with new air conditioning units for example. Expanding Our Vision kicked off last year and has progressed to the milestone of our Capital Campaign this month. It is time for resolutions and it is time for a commitment.
So, first a few words about commitment. A person who has commitment sees a goal far in the distance and moves toward it. The work to achieve the goal is done whether it is easy or fraught with obstacles. The negative possibilities of fulfilling a commitment turn us away from even beginning the work. We might have to give up something that we like to make to the goal of something we love. This is the challenge of commitment. Making a commitment is not the same as having commitment.
Second, I want to share a thing I learned as a parent from my children. You may have a negative opinion of video games. I have lived in a gaming house most of my adult life. My husband and I did not limit screen time. We let our children play as they wished, but the game platforms were all in the main room. Games helped teach my son many lessons that I could not. Alas, I was not able to convey to the value of keeping at a task that was tedious and frustrating to achieve some end goal. Games, however, did a great job. If you want see the next level, you must get through all the small tasks the game gives you and then defeat the boss monster. The game does not care if you fuss and fume. The game does not care if you have to do the whole thing over again. It is what it is. My son learned to slog through the rough parts because he wanted to achieve the end goal.
Having commitment is having an internal discipline that you employ to keep yourself dedicated to a task that will yield a great reward. I see our faith communities as a place where we can make a commitment to our beliefs. As Unitarian Universalists we agree to a covenant of principles. Time, talent, and treasure are what we commit to make the principles come alive. I believe that our faith community is worth the commitment. I hope you will join me in making a commitment to the Capital Campaign. I am now tired of this word I keep using and ready to live it.