In the Meantime,
A dear and smart colleague, who was a consultant for the UUA for some years, told me once that progress is rarely visible as it happens. We see progress only in retrospect.
I think this is worth keeping in mind as we continue to deal with the ever evolving pandemic, the search for a new settled minister, the need for major building repairs, the selection of a new administrator and more. We can be so focused on the problems that it is hard if not impossible to see progress even as it is happening. But if you look back at where you were in the summer of 2020 you have made progress.
Most importantly, you have gone from being reactive to crises to being proactive toward goals. Many a church has gotten stuck in problem solving mode for years, but as another expert pointed out, even successful churches have problems. What holds so many back is not their problems but lack of vision. Here comes another biblical quote, “without vision the people perish,” it says in Proverbs. No matter how many problems there are, we can still move toward the goal.
So there I was, walking west from Burgh by Sands on a rain swept day back in September 2012. I was drenched to the skin and wanted to find a shelter and dry off, maybe have a pint. But the tide was neap and in an hour would begin to come in and cover the road. My discomfort was bone deep, with squishing feet in soggy socks. Who knows what blisters I was raising. But the tide was coming and my bed and breakfast was in Bowness on Solway on the other side. I kept going.
Our problems are real. Technology doesn’t always work as expected. We can’t make music the way we want. Covid could resurge and threaten again. But we are not where we were a year ago. If we have not crossed the tidal basin we are closer than before. Drenched, blistered, tired and muddy though we may feel, we are moving. And that is what matters most. As the song says, “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize,” which by the way is also a biblical reference.
– FW –