When we consider what it means to persevere, our thoughts usually shift to images of effort, struggle, and resistance to opposition. But when we examine how others have remained steady and committed in spite of adversity, we see that there are underlying elements that make perseverance possible. Usually there is a deep belief in and commitment to the rightness of what is being done; there is a connection to a sense of purpose. Embedded in the individual or the community, often there is a form of hope that manifests as resilience. All these things imply that there are already resources within that make the “improbable” more possible.
Over the past couple months, again and again in our journey together, we’ve witnessed the sustaining power that community creates — all by itself. Community is a shared gift of creation: when we see and value the beauty in each other’s lives, when we are committed to offering ourselves to make community happen, and when we are able to trust one another because we see the level of care that is present. Both perseverance and resilience are sustained best when there are resources to offer nourishment and nurture.
There is a commonly shared phrase of encouragement: “You can do it and you do not have to do it on your own!” When we looked at courage last fall, we also looked at the vulnerability that made courage possible, so perhaps it’s helpful to remember that our vulnerability is part of what makes the strength and perseverance of community most valuable. Our connection to each other takes place when we make an open space within us to allow that bond to happen.
This month our Soul Matters packets offer materials for us to come together as a community in exploring the meaning of “perseverance” – as we think about how we experience it our lives and how it is a part of our community. The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here. If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take a copy from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they have all been taken. You might also like to consider joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying.
Wishing you joy in community,