How to Drive Like a Minister

Living A Life Rooted in Unitarian Universalism


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Ice Bucket Challenge - Like A Minister

There’s a challenge going around where people either 1. dump a bucket of ice water on their head or 2. donate money to the ALS Association.

I was challenged.  Here’s my response.

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You Are What You Hear

I have an eclectic taste in music - depending on my mood I will listen to Bizet’s Carmen, or I will crank up some Black Sabbath (not to mention Israel “IZ Kamakawiwo’ole, Daft Punk, Kimya Dawson or any other number of genres and artists…)  I like music; and I like lots of different music.

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But I am not writing about music.  I write about how to live a faithful life.  The point is that we can easily become what we ingest - even through our ears.  I have noticed this very specifically when I am driving.  When I am jamming to some heavy metal, I find myself reacting to others on the road in a more angry and mean manner - like this:

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And on the other hand, when I have opera blasting through the speakers I find myself much more calm and relaxed.  More like this:

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The joy and anger which is expressed in music is easily internalized by me, without thinking of it.  I am not saying don’t listen to metal, rap, screamo or the like.   Just be mindful of how the music we listen to (and the books we read, the movies we watch…) can alter our emotions!

Let us all be mindful of how we are changed by our surroundings.  Let us be mindful of our media consumption and its affect on us and the world.  And let’s listen to some good (varied) music!!

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Roses…

Stop what you are doing!  Right now.  Go outside and put down your electronic device.  Take a minute.  Yes, a full minute - count to 60 - and notice the world around you.  The temperature, traffic, animals, neighbors, flowers…  just notice.  I’m going to take my own advice, so here’s a pause in the post.

That was a wonderful moment of awareness for me.  I watched a fly drink from droplets of water on a pink-white flower.  And I almost took a picture to share, but decided to just remain in the moment and be mindful.  Part of living faithfully means being aware of our lives, being mindful that we are living.

Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.
- Henry David Thoreau

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A Single Step

The Philadelphia Marathon is Sunday, November 23rd - that’s only 17 weeks away!!  That may at first seem like a long time in the future, but the training program I follow starts 18 weeks before the race.  Just getting to the starting line takes over 4 months of training and preparation.  Most people can’t just jump out of bed one morning and decide to run a marathon.  It takes dedication, and a long hard process of preparation.

(This is from Pittsburgh, 2012.  You may be able to find me with a magnifying glass.)

Marathons are not the only things which take hard work.  Most education - from High School to PhD - requires a number of years of study, dedication and hard work.  Having a child is even more years of love and patience.  These are not easy, “once and done” things.  So it behoves us to occasionally look at the larger picture, to step back and recognize how our larger goals may be met by taking that first step… and then the second step…

The process of starting small to achieve great goals brings to mind an acorn which will - over many years - grow to be a large oak tree.  Let us take the small step, be like the acorn, and see the grand scale which our small actions may produce.

The tree which fills the arms grew from the tiniest sprout; the
tower of nine storeys rose from a (small) heap of earth; the journey of a thousand li commenced with a single step.

- Tao Te Ching, chapter 64

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Thanks!

As I was writing a couple weeks ago on saying “I’m Sorry!" it came across my mind that there are other things we do which can happen immediately or after a long while.  One of them is giving thanks.

I remember very vividly a friend of mine paid me a compliment…  maybe 12 years ago.  And as with apologizing many years later, I felt compelled to thank many years later.  Letting someone know that they made a difference in your life is a strong and powerful action.  Whether you do it immediately or after over a decade.  Say Thanks!

Take the time this week - and into the future - express your gratitude to someone whom you haven’t thanked.

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