By Buffy Boke, June 30, 2016
Summertime Thoughts from your Minister – June 30, 2016
Dear First Parish Friends,
It’s been a complicated and uncertain month, and I thought I’d write to you all to remind you that you have only to call or email me to make an appointment to talk. While the world seems to be fragmented and on edge, we can remain connected and calm, keeping alert to the things that are put before us to do: help one another and others who are in need of your presence; reach out to those who may be lonely; play with the children and embrace gratitude for the good things in our lives.
There is a little book called The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. It recommends we keep to the following rules in our lives:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
These are mighty fine agreements to make with ourselves and to one another. Imagine if everyone were to adhere as closely as possible to those ideals!
Speaking carefully, thoughtfully, and truthfully – taking everything with “a grain of salt” – checking our assumptions – doing our best – no one can ask more of a person. When we take our attention off the constant barrage of bad news and bring our own lives into focus we can find so many opportunities for joy. A bird’s nest, a flower blooming, a child’s happy playing – these are the things of daily life.
Do you know the “Desiderata”? It was popular when I was young and holds true today. One of the most important sentences in it goes like this: “… do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.”
This summer, while the sun shines and the birds sing, while the children play and the flowers bloom and the birds hatch, grow, and leave their nests, see what you can do to be gentle with yourself, and not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Rest, find your people, and be at ease. As the poet said, “With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”