Margaret Johnson and I were recently brainstorming about next steps and what our work will look like after the pandemic restrictions are lifted. At one point, I found myself saying, “Or, we could keep church services online and hold other events in person.”
Now, this is just an option and no decisions have been made. I know many in our community are eager to meet and meditate together. That is right around the corner and I’m ready too!
I’m bringing this up for a different reason today; it’s not an announcement.
Here’s the thing: After I said it, I realized that the idea of not going back to in-person church was so outside my range of possibilities that it was reality-shattering just to let the thought come and be spoken. It’s as if my expectation was like a car speeding down a road, about to keep going straight, when suddenly the brakes engaged and I could see multiple paths.
I’ve been so sure that it’s a given, it was surprising to notice how sure it was. This was a great reminder that, from time to time, we put our energy into one possibility so much that we can’t see other choices. Sometimes we don’t even realize there are other choices.
I had been “stuck” on in-person church, unable to see anything other than that outcome. In the meantime, our community has grown to include many new members across the country. And, we have a new group of Minister students coming in that live in California, New York, and many points in between. COVID has fundamentally changed our organization, in a good way, and there’s no going back.
When I realized my attachment to what our services used to look like, and how I had been unable to question that trajectory, it was like the earth stood still for a moment. Like waking up from a dream, I remembered that nothing is a given.
Once I wrote a little book called Believing is Seeing. It’s so true! We see what we believe. We view our realities through a set of decisions about what’s true and possible. Sometimes we put reality in a box of possibilities and then we can’t see beyond its dimensions.
COVID brought so many challenges, but there have been some gifts too. One of those gifts is the opportunity to create large-scale change at any and every level of our lives. We can’t do that unless we remember that everything is changeable.
What are you so sure of in your world? Is there something that has to be a certain way, has to happen, can’t be a certain way, or can’t happen? Things you have to do or can’t do? Things you have to be, or can’t be?
I invite you to notice the boxes you are in as we move forward into the next stage of things. You can’t get out of a box unless you recognize you’re in one, so noticing that the box is there is a great step.
Then, instead of needing to know what’s next, you might let go and relax into the waves of possibility. It’s nice to contemplate the options, and to meditate on them, before choosing the next adventure.