We Are All Seedlings
First Unitarian Church of Alton
“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” -Eric Hoffer
When I was two years old, I wanted to have a garden like the one my parents made. My mom set aside a small space and we planted seeds. Each day, I would go out and water and, when it came time weed. Diligently I pulled the weeds which were actually the very plants that I had planted. The only plant to survive the carnage was a giant carrot (even my mother thought it was huge). I was so proud of my giant carrot that it mattered not at all than none of the other plants seemed to grow.
Much like gardens, transformation takes time and wisdom to understand. We can’t just water and weed willy-nilly, but rather need to be focused on careful tending with patience. We also cannot pluck our transformation before it is complete. There is no rapid work around for the most significant changes in our lives and when complete, the transformation is as absolute as that of a seedling into a carrot. The carrot would barely recognize the seed from which it comes.
To be transformers, we need to let go of our protective shell and we need to be open to the truth that we will not be what we were before. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution teaches much of what we need to know about transformation. Survival is not dictated by the strongest or fastest or smartest, but rather by that being which is most able to adapt to change. Change is a scary thing. It asks us to let go of what we thought we knew to what we might become.
This congregation has been in a process of transformation- not as dramatic, but definitely as intense as any spiritual transformation. You have been invited to ask- who are we know? How did we change as a result of Rev. Khleber’s leadership? What will we become? The interim time is like a chrysalis or the time perennials spend in the ground preparing for new growth. Change comes to every community. It’s strength and transformation is dependent on those who show up, who recommit themselves time and again, and hold forth for the possibilities of what is to come. You are ready for the next path of this congregation’s journey.
Eric Hoffer’s words brings to mind one of the key truths for any organized community- those that thrive are learning organizations. Learning organizations let change happen and face that change with the eyes of a learner- curious and empowered. Rather than focusing on what was known- they let the paradigm shifts lead them to new possibilities. A life well prepared for transformation invites us to be open to the possibilities in change through curiosity, openness, and hope.
May you seek through your life being every the budding seedling open to the new and the possible. May you support others as they face the transformations in their lives. May you know that you are not alone on this wild transformative journey called life.
Pastor Sunshine J. Wolfe