We think we want stuff and so we do stuff to get it and then afterwards realize that it could be good and could be bad and when things turn out bad we philosophize and say, “There must have been a reason that things turned out the way they did” and try to make sense out how messed up things have become.
When people tell me their stories of what is happening to them in their lives, I sometimes ask, “And how is that working for you?” People often respond by looking confused, perplexed, and then they laugh or cry.
In today’s lesson we are asked to confront a basic, fundamental truth, that we don’t perceive what is in our own best interests. If we are honest with ourselves and take the two minutes five times during the day that is suggested to ask our ourselves, “In the situation involving _______, I would like_______to happen, and ___________to happen, and _________to happen,” we often find that what we are hoping to happen is unrealistic, contradictory, or inappropriate.
As Unitarian Universalists we covenant together to affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. The fact of the matter is that we cannot find this truth and meaning on our own but require the collaboration of other people and circumstances, and best help comes from discerning the will of our Higher Power.
It takes a great deal of honesty and humility to come to the realization that I do not perceive my own best interests, and in fact, what I think I want and what I think will make me happy often does not do the trick, but sometimes the opposite is what is in my better interests.