Rev.  Jan Bihl
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“At the heart of most spiritual practice…
is simply remembering.
Remember who you are.
Remember what you love.
Remember those who have gone before us and shown the way.
Remember what is sacred.
Remember what is true.
Remember that you will die,
and that this day is a gift.
Remember how you wish to live.
Remember your aim.”

~ Anonymous.

 

That poem went with the following article:

     I’ve been remembering Manitoba mud lately. Springtime mud was something I looked forward to: the earthy smell, the feel, the first opportunity after a looooong winter to make mud pies and mud villages on the lower lane that led in and out of the entrance to the farm. Ahhhh. I can still feel the sense of wonder…

            But/and...the adults in the household also knew about Manitoba mud...that you did NOT want to get stuck in it! There is nothing more gooey, sticky, slippery...than Manitoba mud in springtime.  If you are driving in the mud, you have to go slowly, not revving the engine or spinning the wheels, and moving at a steady pace. Interestingly, if you start to skid or get a little stuck, experts say you need to turn off the automatic anti-lock brakes that give automatic traction control so that you get direct traction. If you get more than a little stuck, you can rock back and forth (reverse-drive), or you can add traction by putting your car floor mat or something else in front of the wheels to give some traction.  Hopefully you don’t have to call a tow truck, which, in Manitoba, may be the neighbour! Well, you get the picture.

            We can get stuck in our personal spiritual lives as well as a congregation’s lifecycle, especially in those in-between times, that are sometimes called liminal times. Liminal times are time is in between the end of something and the beginning of something else, but the new thing is not yet apparent. It’s easy to get stuck in the middle. Sort of like Manitoba mud...it can be sticky and slippery. Spinning our wheels won’t help.  We need to get traction, but not by staying on automatic anti-skid control. No, instead, when we find ourselves in liminal time, in-between what was and what will be, one of the best things we can do to get traction, is to remember. Remember who we are. Remember what we came here to share. Remember what we love, what is sacred, what is true. Remember that we are mortal and ever so loved and valued by our Creator.

            When we gather for Communion, we remember Jesus and the words he spoke to his disciples then - and right up to today -  “Whenever you eat this bread...and drink this cup of the new covenant, remember me.”  As in, remember that I am with you always. Remember to abide in my love. Remember who I am. Remember my essence. That way you will remember who you are...what you came here to share; your purpose; what God is calling you to in this time of life; what to release and what to embrace.

            The amazing thing is that this kind of remembering takes us forward with a deep sense of valuing the past, but it doesn’t keep us stuck there. Woohoo!

            With Love and Joy,
            Rev. Jan