Learning requires many small acts of commitment. Learning to be a friend, a spouse, a community member. Learning to be anti-racist. Learning how to write, play an instrument, throw a pot on the potter’s wheel, weld a sculpture, build a shed, knit a sweater. We don’t usually succeed the first time. It takes practice, skill-building over time, incrementally.

Earlier in my life, I quit piano lessons to take flute lessons. Then I quit flute lessons to take voice lessons. I quit highland dance to take karate, then I quit karate to have more time for modern dance. There is never enough time for all the commitments that I would like to make. Even small commitments take time and energy. When I make a commitment, I live in relationship to it. I regret setting some commitments aside in order to take on new commitments, yet how else would I grow?

Twelve years ago, I set down my flute so that I would have time to enter the search for a new ministry. I found you. It was worth the commitment, many times over! Recently, I picked up my flute and could hardly get any notes out of it. If I want to play the flute again, it will take commitment to practice. But doesn’t everything? Doesn’t everything that matters take a commitment to practice?

What are you practicing these days? How is your relationship to commitments, small and large, going these days? What commitments do you want to grow?


Rev. Dena McPhetres, Associate Minister


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