Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Morning meditation - Things will be fine in 2009

And here we are, December 31, 2008 the last day of the year. In the spiritual realm the date has no significance. It is arbitrarily drawn by us humans to mark time, but to God I doubt it has any meaning other than the meaning which we humans give to it.

In temporal terms it is, of course, significant because it is the end of one year and predecessor to a whole new year and so we are on the threshold, once again, of new beginings and we can create a lot of meaning out of that.

For me, I am not sure what it means. Every year I try to come up with a rhyming couplet like "It will be heaven in 2007" and "Things will be great in 2008" and the one that keeps playing in my head for this coming year is "Things will be fine in 2009."

I am very glad deep down in my soul that Barack Obama is President. He is a man of integrity, of compassion, and he is smart and capable. It will be quite a different world with Barack as the leader of the free world instead of spoiled child dry drunk crowned King by a bunch of plutocratic neo-cons.

I sense the world is on the edge of a new religious awakening. It is an awakening which will take humanity beyond religion to a more constructive ethical understanding of what it means to be a human being who is merely one part of the interdependent web of existence. It is an awareness that is dawning because of the new information technology which allows us to communicate with each other almost simultaneously in real time, and our increasing awareness of our impact on the planet because of our growth in numbers and the degradation brought about by our own activities.

I think there will be a more positive shift in "family values" with an increasing emphasis on local economies, a simplification of family and personal life, and a growing skepticism about materialism and consumer culture to make one happy. We will learn that less is more, and joy comes from relationships not things.

I personally do not see any big changes this year, but I yearn for a further increase in faith and a desire to connect with like minded people in a community of believers who are all rowing the boat in the same direction. As I get older I find this more difficult to find. I am surrounded by idiots but every now and then my life is blessed by good people and I need to continue to focus on these relationships and cultivate their growth.

Unitarian Universalism, for all its weaknesses and difficulties, has been a real blessing in my life, and I look foward to continuing to explore and develop a theology that works. I get excited about the free and responsibile search for truth and meaning, about trying to create justice, equity, and compassion in my relationships with others, about acknowledging and validating the inherent worth and dignity of every person, about understanding better the interdependent web of all existence and how these systems work and relate to one another. I am excited about creating a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. I am proud to have found a religion which truly believes in the right of conscience and also the use of democratic processes within their congregations and society and large, and I am reassured by the intention to accept one another and encourage one another in our spiritual growth in our congregations.

There is so much negativity in the world by forces of domination and oppression which terrorize the population with psychotic policies like a never ending "war on terror", the demonization of certain sectors of our society like poor people, gays, and immigrants, the crazy idealization and pandering to the rich and super rich with tax cuts, "bail outs", and other government policies which allow income redistribution from the taxpayers to the wealthy. At a personal level there are the problems of unemployment, poverty, addiction, interpersonal violence and abuse, and the dysfunctional dynamics and behaviors which we endure in our parnterships and family life. And yet, there also is love and grace and beauty and reverence and above all else blessings.

And so, there is work to do, in our personal lives as well as in our communities and society and working together for a better world. I am confident that things will be fine in 2009.


  1. Thanks for this uplifting visio of the coming year, David. I concur...

    I found you through PeaceBang and your comments on Boston UU. I"m sorry that you aren't finding uplifting preaching at your usual place of worship (I presume...) If you're willing to travel a bit, I strongly recommend Patrick Thomas Aquinas O'Neill -- a strong Unitarian Universalist name if ever I heard one! -- at the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, NY. He is a truth-teller with a big heart.

    And if you wish to travel farther afield, no one beats Rob Hardies at All Souls in Washington, DC for power and message. He is a deeply spiritual man.

    Just a few thoughts from a UU minister who knows a good preacher when she hears one...

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  3. You don't have to go to all the way to Brooklyn. The preaching at First U of Roch is pretty darn good.

  4. Hi Fausto:

    Is that the First Unitarian or the First Universalist, because there are two First Us in Rochester. I am assuming which may make and ass of you and me that you mean First Unitarian because I download Scott and Kaaren and Jen's sermons in podcast form and they usually are pretty good.

    Have you noticed that Jennifer Crowe has picked up Scott's cadence and delivery style? It is interesting how she has copied him. I don't know if this is conscious and intentional or unconscious but it is kind of spooky really.

    At any rate, I agree, their preaching is pretty good and their church, as you probably know, has grown further since they have been there. It kind of reminds me of Yogi Berra's comment about a certain restaurant, "People don't go there any more because it is so crowed."

    Thanks again for the comments and all the best in 2009,

    David Markham


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