This is the online version of the March 15, 2020 service: Wisdom, Peace, and Love by DLRE Leann Pomaville
Prelude -The Garden by Peter Mayer
Call To Worship
Garden of Your Mind by Kerry Fantelli
What are you growing
in the garden of your mind –
what do you water
Do you plant seeds of forgiveness,
or do you fertilize weeds of anger
What are you growing
in the garden of your heart?
Do you allow sunshine to reach dark pain
in the corners of your heart –
Do you allow tears to wash it clean
and nourish it –
Or do you put up fences
to keep out the feelings?
Get on your knees
grow your own food
decide what it is you want in your soil.
Know what you are cultivating
what you are growing –
a lot can grow in the garden of your body
if you let it seed
watch it grow.
Kindling of the Chalice Flame – Church Of The Earth by Peter Mayer
Hymn #100 I’ve Got Peace Like a River, The UU St. Pete Adult Choir
Love be with you and all living things.
Message for All Ages: A Child’s Garden: A Story of Hope by Michael Foreman
Reading: Amazing Life Lesson’s Plants Can Teach Us
Throughout generations, plants have been a beautiful medium through which we can learn some of life’s valuable lessons…
1. Plants Don’t Set Limits for Themselves
A plant wants to grow as much as it possibly can. It never tells itself ‘I’ll stop growing after I reach a certain height’.
When we hold limiting beliefs about ourselves, it hinders our potential. As Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right’.
While it can be healthy to know your own limitations, it’s also healthy to let go of inhibiting thoughts. You deserve to thrive.
2. Plants Allow Their Struggles to Make Them Stronger
How does a tree respond when it’s left by itself, exposed to the elements? It simply digs its heels in by growing thicker roots and trunks. The result is the tree becomes stronger and more sturdy than one which has been sheltered from stormy weather.
As Napoleon Hill said, ‘Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.’ None of us are immune from challenging times. We can be encouraged, however, that struggles have the potential to make us stronger.
3. Plants Turn Towards the Sun
Plants do not focus on the weeds and predators around them. Instead, they turn to face the sun. They bathe in its rays as they concentrate on their primary objective: growing.
Winston Churchill famously remarked, ‘You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.’ How true.
While it’s good to be aware of life’s potential pitfalls, it’s important not to get distracted on our journey by things that will only weigh us down.
4. Plants Are Adaptable
Plants possess the ability to adapt to changing seasons and this helps them to thrive. They accept the challenge in front of them and adjust themselves accordingly.
One of life’s inevitabilities is that circumstances change. When we are inflexible, our well being suffers. Peace is often found, however, when we accept that there are some things we cannot change and we decide to carry on enjoying life regardless.
5. Plants Add Value to Other People’s Lives
By simply existing, plants provide people with so many benefits such as nutrition, healing, air filtering, stress relief and even shelter.
What are we doing to add value to the lives of those around us? It doesn’t take much to improve someone else’s day. Sometimes, just being there for the people we care about can mean the world to them.
6. Plants Are Happy With Being Themselves
Plants don’t rely on the validation of other plants to be who they are. They are happy with the purpose they have been given and they work towards fulfilling that purpose every day.
For many people, recognizing their purpose is no easy task. Once we realize our purpose, however, we can go about boldly executing that purpose. There’s great peace to be found in knowing that we’re blooming just the way we should be.
7. Plants Move at Their Own Pace
Plants react to the world around them but they always move at their own pace. Sometimes we want plants to grow faster but ultimately they are the ones who dictate the speed!
We are all unique and have different needs. We cannot please everybody. Some may want you to do things differently or at a different pace but ultimately you need to be true to yourself. It’s important to move at a pace that will improve your well being rather than impair it.
Let’s be thankful for plants and the valuable lessons they teach us. Whether grown indoors or outdoors, plants do us a world of good.
Hymn # 131 Love Will Guide Us, by Sally Rogers – Cover by The Northern Lights of Tacoma, WA
Offertory Music: Love, Peace, and Wisdom by Bliss
Joys and Concerns:
While we are apart, use this moment as a time of introspection, meditation, thought, or prayer, and send your joys and concerns into the spirit of life.
Video: The secret language of trees – Camille Defrenne and Suzanne Simard
But it’s really important. When the daffodils come up the ground is still pretty hard and there is sometimes cold and snow. So, at first the daffodils have a tough green skin protecting their blossoms. After it gets warmer, the daffodil doesn’t need this protection, and it shrivels and dies. Often in our lives, just as for the daffodil, some part of us has to shrivel up and die so that some new part of us can grow and give beauty to the world. Oddly enough, though, the dead shriveled up part of a daffodil doesn’t fall away.
There are two things we can learn from a daffodil, to help ourselves and each other:
We can be brave and wise enough, when the right time comes to push out from under the tough skins of our souls that protect us from all that is hard and harsh, that can damage the more fragile parts of our self. We can let some parts of ourselves die so that new parts of ourselves can live in beauty.
We can hold on to the shriveled up dead bits, especially if doing so helps us remember to honor and value all parts of ourselves, all parts of our experience. Just because we don’t need that part or that way of being in the world now, doesn’t mean that part has no value. It was very necessary to have that protection then and very good to remember and appreciate it now.
Video Postlude: The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout by Rick Rigsby
As we end this contemplation of the wisdom of plants, trees and third graders, may you go in peace, love and wisdom.