Leader Letter

Subscribing congregations should share this letter with congregational leaders.  Being oriented to the month’s theme, and equipped to help others in the congregation get aligned with it, builds the whole congregation’s engagement with the theme.  Which, of course, means unity and energy for the community.

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Dear Friends,

Last spring, I ran a half-marathon.  Well, the verb "run" might be too generous a word to describe how I lurched myself forward.  But did I complete it?  Yes, I did.  When I started out, it wasn't for myself that I was training.  I have a son in middle school, and, as he grows up, I look for opportunities for him to be challenged and grow, to meet adversity and find his way through.  When I mentioned the half-marathon, he was interested. Me, I was just going along, and jogging a little.  I was his support team.  When he passed me on those dark mornings out on the track--and, yes, he was always going much faster than me--I'd grunt out encouragement, if I had enough breath. 

But something happened over the course of those mornings.  I began to pay less attention to his progress, and began to notice my own.  I found that I could run farther than I had before.  That I was not in nearly so much pain. And, where in prior years, I would have given myself a pass to slow down or to walk, now I found a way to push through it.  To keep going.  To keep chugging.  Even when my running was almost as slow as another person's walking.  It wasn't one thing.  It was many.  The vision of finishing a race.  Learning how to breathe a little better and more openly.  Figuring out different ways to move that were easier on my body. 

I'm now well into middle-age, and had figured some things were behind me.  But going out to the track with my son taught me how much of that belief was purely mind-set. I've been noticing, in the months since, how often mind-set alone can block me from my pursuits.  It's not that I've become a superhero, or that I can always persist, despite the blocks in my mind--whether it's a writing project, or some other undertaking.  But I'm noticing when the wall rises up.  And I don't take it as the final word anymore.  I've learned to question my own resistance.  And to wonder whether it's possible, this time, to push on.

In this month when we're reflecting on the theme of persistence, I hope you'll rediscover some of the ways you have pushed through and overcome what seemed to be impossible obstacles.  And maybe notice how you are engaging some of the obstacles within you today.

Faithfully,

Jake

Rev. Jake Morrill
Lead Minister ORUUC
Executive Director UUCF
Launchpad Partner