The Freedom to Question
Ponderings of the Spiritual Life Director
The 4th UU Principle: We covenant to affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
Hey there everybody! I’m back from vacation and gearing up for another fruitful church year. I am looking forward to doing all the good work we need to do as Unitarian Universalists in Polk County and beyond. I’ve been inspired by the programming at General Assembly and by moments of my vacations. Ideas are stirring and I can’t wait to share! Have you been inspired this summer? What ideas do you have for our UUCL community?
At the beginning of the summer, I was working hard on essays that I had to write for my application to Meadville Theological School. One of the essays asked me to reflect on my deepest theological questions. Certainly, there are many, but I narrowed it down to these three big ones:
Where do we come from and how does that connect us in the ways that we are now? Why are there so many ways of imagining and experiencing the divine? How can humanity embrace and celebrate our diversity so we may find wholeness?
One of the questions I asked my parents repeatedly when I was young was “if God made us, then who made God?”. The desire to know and to search for the answers to “where do we come from?” has tugged at my soul since I began to learn and speak. The quest for truth and wholeness has guided my life choices, from studying anthropology to working with kindergarteners to becoming your DRE, your Spiritual Life Director, and now a seminarian (yes, I was accepted into the Master of Divinity program at Meadville and will start in August!).
Although the mystery of the Universe and what existed before it still remains, I have settled on an answer to that perpetual life question of “who made god?”. We did. We made god. We make god. We create the holy, the divine, the sacred. The Spirit of Life moves through all of us and it is up to us to create from it as we search for truth. We must pay attention to it and hear the call of the deepest values of love and hope that this mysterious force of life stirs within us. It is our responsibility to answer that call with a courage and a compassion that honors our human ancestors if we are to continue to be worthy of the name “humanity”. I believe that the evolution of our species was largely dependent on the drive to figure out who we are and where we came from- the never ending search for meaning. Every community of humans around the world, for thousands of years, have created ways to experience the divine. It feels a lot like we’ve lost our way, though.
That’s where Unitarian Universalism comes in. This year’s GA theme was “The Power of We” and it was a reminder that we can create the divine together right here, right now by answering the call of love and dismantling the systems that oppress people and their right to search for truth and meaning-a most critical part of being human, as thousands of years of humanity’s past indicates.
We all have different questions and different answers. We have a right to that freedom. But we have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of our sacred creation to gather together in the power of those questions and answers, find the love that weaves them together, and create the divine through a transcending wholeness that embraces us each and all. Evolution never stops. That’s a blessing. And the miracle is that we can steer it in the direction towards a Beloved Community in which we are all free. We can imagine that 2.5 million years of human evolution would beg for nothing less.
This coming year, I look forward to digging deep into our questions. I plan to allow sacred time during worship to listen to each other- and to folks we don’t yet know- so that we may draw wisdom and inspiration from our human experiences. I hope that we can use this wisdom to harness the “Power of We” and to help us move forward in doing the work it then calls us to do.