Renewal, Rebirth and Re-Creation
Times of renewal
In September, the Jewish community again gathers to celebrate the Jewish New Year of 5773.
In synagogues all over the world, prayers will be said for a year of peace and health. The new year season, like Christmas and Easter, and similar sacred moments in other faiths, usually contain motifs that speak to the power and possibility of personal growth. These are times of renewal.
As with most clergy, we are bound to read a lot, especially prior to major festivals. We are always looking for words of wisdom and insights. Some of my congregants recently advised me to buy and read a new book called "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life." (Richard Rohr. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. 2011) In the book, Rohr tries to examine the changes in the way we approach spiritual issues as we age. The book is written from a Christian perspective. However, this did not stop me from taking several insights from its pages.
One that spoke to me concerning this season is the quote that stated:
"God seems to have created things that continue to create and recreate themselves from the inside out." (93).I took that to mean the fact that creation itself is on-going. A challenge for all of us is to break free from living in the past; from focusing on the "what if" of "if only" or "what could have been" of life. Looking at these stifles us and inhibits our own ability to evolve.
At this boomer stage of life (Rohr's second half), we face a host of challenges and issues, many of which we have had no preparation for. Many of us, as we face our own aging, seem to spend a lot of time looking backward. I think what Rohr is saying, and what the New Year season symbolizes, is that no matter where we are in life, our own growth and potential are always there for us to seize; if we but have the courage to evolve. Nothing, as all of us know, stands still. Life is too short and too precious to be stuck in the "if only" or "what could have been" part of life.
So, my wish for all of us is that we have the courage and strength to challenge our souls and self to grow and evolve; to seek the unique meaning for us that rests within each of our souls.
Rabbi Richard F Address, D.Min
Published September 12, 2012