Reverend David Old, MDiv.
Minister's Letter March 28th, 2021
Dear One and All,
I do hope you are all well. These past few weeks have flown by quickly for me. Today, I find myself preparing to fly to Austin tomorrow morning to be with my 90 year old father, who was taken to the hospital for a second time this week and is in the ICU with his vitals in decline. The truth is that ever since my mother passed away, right before Christmas in 2019, my father has mourned her death and has been on a slow, but steady decline in body and mind.
Although these last few weeks have been especially difficult, I feel a natural flow and unfoldment at work. Over 400 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the great Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu observed, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like…Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.”
This flow of life has recently brought us all into spring. Whereas calendar wise we enter each new year in the depths of winter, a time of cold and darkness, and a landscape that can look stark and barren, it is spring that truly ushers in the new year as the green sprouts of plants, long dormant, push out from the black earth reaching for the sun, and the limbs of barren trees and shrubs break forth with leaves of green and the yellow flower of forsythia, first signs of the riot of colors to soon come forth. We can see and feel a new, yet timeless life emerging.
This spring is especially welcomed after such a long dark and difficult year. A time so many of us have been cut off and distanced from loved ones due to the menace of an invisible nemesis. One of my favorite scriptures came to mind this morning reminding me both of spring and the flow of life. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18-19
I wonder how many people have found comfort, as I have, in these words of wisdom spoken over 2800 years ago by the Hebrew prophet Isaiah. Spirit is always doing a new thing. Something new is always springing up right now in this present moment, but we have to let go of the past to receive the blessings of the present. If we find ourselves fighting against the stream or holding on desperately to what was, by regretting or longing for the past, we will wear ourselves out instead of letting the stream of life carry us in its flow, a flow that will guide us through any wilderness or wasteland we might find ourselves in.
My prayer for all of you this coming week is this: May you gratefully and knowingly, with ease and grace, flow forth in the way Spirit is making for you. May your thirst be quenched by the living waters of Spirit, and may you always remember that the same Spirit of love, wisdom, and peace that inspired, guided and sustained Isaiah, Jesus, and Lao Tzu is also within you. It is your source. It is your life. And it is doing a new thing in you, through you and as you. May you always perceive it. And so it is. Amen.