The Exceptional Moment of Our Unique Faith
by Doug Zelinski,
Director of Leadership Development
If the crux of Unitarian Universalism were reduced to a few points in space and time, they would be those potent moments just before and just after we keep a promise, or we break it. All that is exceptional about being human and becoming whole is crystalized in these decisive microseconds:
People in all faith communities face microseconds like these. Sometimes we "live into" these moments and consciously wrestle with our instinct to fight, flee or freeze. Rising above these instincts to respond rather than react is what makes us human and what moves us toward wholeness. That this power to become whole is so concentrated in these common moments of experience is what makes them extraordinary.
- Will I say "hello" to the visitor standing awkwardly near the sanctuary door or not?
- Do I stay connected to Miguel even though he just voted against my idea?
- Do I acknowledge the tug on my heart and wallet that asks me to really wrestle with the amount of my pledge?
- Will I or will I not risk feeling unsure and uninformed as I step outside my comfort zone and spend time with those of other races, classes or generations on their terms rather than mine?
- Will I expose my need for wholeness, my hope for forgiveness, my longing to belong, and my desire to matter?
Sometimes we subconsciously squelch these moments by automatically retreating into the ideology of our particular belief or non-belief. We may then spend time feeling wounded or righteous, debating, competing or even warring over religion.
Unique among the faiths, Unitarian Universalism proclaims the ordinary but decisive moments of human agency as its center rather than a particular system of belief. Instead of aiding a retreat into ideology, UUism invites the moral codes of religions and ethics to inspire and support individuals, but it refuses to let those codes blur or distract from the key questions of all