Archive | January 2016

Still Breathing



It has been awhile since I posted.  In the space of just a few months, beginning in May of last year, I ended a difficult ministry and decided to retire.  Then in the fall, we sold the tri-level home we had owned for 30+ years, and we bought a smaller one-level house a few miles away.  All good things, really.  The ministry wasn’t working and leaving it was a good decision, especially for me and perhaps for most of the congregation as well.  I do miss being an active minister, but I also know now that I only want to do the kind of ministry that will make a real difference.  That was the joy I experienced serving our Ogden, Utah congregation.  Life is too short to spend it doing things that are not only personally frustrating, but also unlikely to make much of a real difference.

Winter is here now, even in California, and the rain finally has begun to fall.  I am trying to just breathe and figure out what might come next for me.

Breathing is suddenly a bigger issue for me as I have been diagnosed with COPD.  The condition is chronic, but with care can be managed.   I was a smoker for years, which is what did most of the damage to my lungs, although the air pollution I have been exposed to certainly didn’t help.   A one level house is a particularly good thing to live in now.

Breathing is such a metaphor.  The following chant is one that is done often in UU congregations:

Meditation on Breathing

“When I breathe in, I’ll breathe in peace, when I breathe out, I’ll breathe out love.”

Now, when I sing those words, I know that breathing is not an easy or a simple thing.  It can be hard work.  Just like peace.  Just like Love.  Namaste