Rabbi Marcia Prager teaches, where worry says, “oh no, what is going to happen?” curiosity says “oh wow! I wonder what will happen!”
Curiosity is our theme this month. It’s a good one for what we’re all going through here at UU Church of Boulder! I can’t say it better than Unitarian Universalist minister Rev. Kimberley Debus who gave a whole sermon about it (and I encourage you to read the whole thing here): http://firstuniversalistsouthold.org/services/the-misuse-of-imagination/
Here are a few snippets that stood out for me:
“Worry is useful. Worry is part of how our brains work: we anticipate that something unfortunate could happen, and the discomfort of worry spurs us to avoid that unfortunate something or at least mitigate its effects. Worry no doubt has helped us survive, and even in modern times a burst of that anxiety keeps us on our toes. …
[But] when we let worry take over our imagination, we go from zero to sixty in about five seconds. We catastrophize the future of [the church] instead of remembering all of the things that remain true – we are not our building [or our minister], we have faith, we love our liberal religion and the story of who we are, we have a spirit of service, we are warm and welcoming, we make space for our spiritual explorations, we encourage growth, we offer support in tough times.”
Clearly, she was speaking to a congregation going through some change! Rev. Debus’ thesis is that the opposite of worry is curiosity.
Scientists teach us about curiosity, and there are many of you in our congregation! Renowned scientist, Stephen Hawking, inspired the world to be curious. I found a good article in Forbes Magazine about him: 10 Things The Inspiring Stephen Hawking Taught Mankind. One “thing” he taught us is: be curious. The article says, “Hawking was nothing if not a champion of insatiable curiosity, and the belief in oneself. At the Sydney Opera House he said, ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.’”
Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Upsplash
As you enter into a relationship with an interim minister, you may have worry, and that’s okay. I know you will transform that worry to curiosity. I see you doing it already. It is one of the many reasons I love you. Keep it up!