How to Slow Time Down (Slow Down: week 3)

I couldn’t be at Foothills on Sunday because I was at a family wedding in Austin, Texas.  (But I did love staying connected through the livestream.)

As my cousin made her way down the aisle, I could feel time slowing down.  I remembered rubbing my hand over my aunt’s belly, when she was pregnant.  I was transported back to my awkward, 14-year-old self, unsure what “birth” even meant.  And I was overcome with love remembering holding my cousin for the first time – tiny, vulnerable, everything possible. 

Weddings are one grand way to slow time down. Like the “time warp” Sean described on Sunday. 

Rituals always work like this – when we put a semblance of formality, structure, and communal tradition into play, we activate something in our brains, our bodies, and our hearts that helps us connect to the greater arc of time in a deeper way. 

Unitarians have often resisted ritual – at least, when it’s been forced, or false. And yet, science has repeatedly shown the value of ritual to help us connect in-time. 

Rituals help us connect the past to the present…I think of the relatives I saw this weekend that I have not seen in decades.  Coming together, all the stories of the past came into clearer focus. 

And, rituals free us into bigger dreams for our future.  One by one, my family members articulated their hopes for what the couple will be up to next; and for what we, collectively, might be up to next – what we might heal, question, resist, forgive, hope…

For Jewish members of our community, this Sunday marks the beginning of an annual ritual that marks time: the start of Hanukkah.  This Sunday I’ll be telling the story of Hanukkah, as we explore together the power of expectations.  Hope to see you this Sunday at 8:30, 10, or 11:30. In person, or if not – online!

In partnership,
Rev. Gretchen

Notes from Slow Down: Week 3 – Time Warp
Listen to the message

Jan Richardson’s Dailiness of Grief
“It will take your breath away,
How the grieving waits for you
In the most ordinary moments.”

We sang our series theme song Will Carry On
Check out the classic Johnny Cash version of the song Christopher offered, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Physics explains why time passes faster as you age (article)
This interview with David Whyte is the perfect follow up to Sunday’s message
“One of the things the Irish say is that ‘The thing about the past is, it’s not the past.’ It’s right here, in this room, in this conversation.”

Being present isn’t simply attentiveness to what is in front of us –
as the “present” can’t be found on any clock. 
Unwrapping the present is surrendering to what is true in this moment, 
opening ourselves to acknowledge and move towards
all that exerts gravity – all that has pull on life. 
Regardless of its chronological position. 
Thus, being in time necessitates being out-of-sync
with the chronological – dwelling in pasts, loitering with futures, wandering in myth. 

How are you present to the past, and to the future, as you find yourself showing up in-time during this last week before Christmas?

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