Your Future Self Hopes You’ll Read This (Disciplined: Week 1)

I have been anticipating this day for a while. The day after which most days will be mostly frozen, and where the rocky dirt in my yard will become even more impossible to dig into than usual. 
Seriously, my yard is filled with rocks. Digging a hole 1 foot in diameter and 6 inches deep requires a 2-hour commitment.
And yet this is just what I’ve been doing over the last couple of months. Cutting into the hard dirt, finding the rocks’ edges, freeing one, by one. And then filling the hole with new soil, and bone meal, and then, placing in bulbs. Crocuses, daffodils, tulips. Trying to get as many in the ground as possible before freeze takes over. 
I enjoy the hard work of gardening, mostly – but this digging into rock, I admit, hasn’t been the most rewarding. I mean, there’s no clear pay off. In fact my garden has never looked more unruly, untended to. Whole days of work resulting in things looking worse than before!   
Still, I choose to do this not-so-rewarding work because I know it’ll be worth it later. The future me will be grateful. The me in April, and May, and June. When the miracle of green breaks through into the barely-waking earth, and then the flowers emerge from the green. The work today is an act of compassion, and a gift of grace for my future self.
This is one of the ways to think about discipline – the sort of practices that Sean explored in his sermon on Sunday.  We make choices today out of duty and commitment that may be seriously unrewarding in the present – and yet will yield so much good for our future selves. 
Speaking of which….how are your practices going? Have you started up with the prayer beads? The Table Blessings? Have you chosen a day for your fast? …wondering what I’m talking about?!  Check out the section below with the header “Practice.” 
Next Sunday we’ll explore a particular sort of discipline – the ancient practice of convening with our ancestors, as we celebrate our annual All Souls service remembering those who have died. You are invited to bring a picture, token, or favorite sweet of one of your ancestors for a shared altar (ancestors may be related by blood, love, or any other shared connection). 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday at 8:30, 10, or 11:30 – for the day my sister and I used to always call the Holy Day of Autumnal Refreshment…because you get an extra hour to sleep – or whatever you’d like!  
In partnership,
Rev. Gretchen

PS One of our Sisterhood Groups (Lynn DeNio, Mary Kirby, Lola Sorenson, and Sue Taylor) invites us to witness one of their shared disciplines – creating art. After two years of supporting each other, their work will be shown Nov 6 – 16th Wed-Sat at 200 Matthews St. More info here.  
Notes from Disciplined: Week 1 
Listen to the message 
Starting Now by Glen Phillips
Best time to change is many years ago
Next best thing is starting where you are
If heaven isn’t waiting, if all there is this
Why wait another instant to open up and live
Starting Now
Divisionary (Do the Right Thing) by Ages and Ages
Do the right thing, do the right thing
Do it all the time, do it all the time
Make yourself right, never mind ’em
Don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering

Practices We invited everyone to our collective practice through our Disciplined Practice Guide and gave everyone their own prayer beads. (Note that it will make most sense if you print it – two sided, flip on short edge, folded down the middle)If you missed it, pick up your prayer beads some time this week or next Sunday.In our 11:30, we experienced our Prayer Bead practice together, which you can find on page 3 of the Guide. The audio is available at the link above. Text COMMIT to 970-00 to be a part of our tips and reminders throughout the series.

 At 8:30 we offered this reflection on wishing from Lisa Friedman
Call to Worship 10.27.19

Like the arrival of snow that 
covers over piles of leaves 
that just last week
fell on still-green lawns
and now-resting gardens  
Life has a way of adding up –  with its appalling headlines
and endless laundry,
the picking of pumpkins, and
filling out ballots –
before long, it’ll be time for
basting the turkey again, and then
the stringing of lights on trees, indoors – 
I mean, if we’re lucky,
life adds up like this –
overwhelms us with love,
breaks us open with loss
makes our bones weary
with all these layers
of grace –
In this place, with these people

Lift up your eyes
feel the light of this day
offering itself to you
as you are
calling to you to
let go
to begin again
and to know:

You are enough
This life is enough 
This breath, this daywith its piercing coldand wide sky
is more than enough
to hold you, to hold all of us
to free us, and 
to call us all home

Remember – Your habits are what make your life. The best time to start was yesterday, but all we have is now. When we commit to collective practices, we make possible a collective freedom. What is a habit you can start or stop today that will bring you closer to the life you long for?

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