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Learn to Grow Backwards

Sunday, January 3 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Learn to Grow Backwards

Details

Date:
Sunday, January 3
Time:
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Event Categories:
, ,
Join Us:
https://tinyurl.com/ESUCSunday

Venue

Online Sunday Morning
12700 Southeast 32nd Street
Bellevue, WA 98005 United States
View Venue Website

Join us for a virtual gathering to reflect on the past year and to stand together to create positive energy to carry us into the new year with hope and love. This is a family friendly service. All are welcome.

how to attend

Bulletin

• To virtually attend, please Zoom in using room number 989 3107 9078.
• To phone into the service, call 669-900-6833, Meeting ID: 989 3107 9078.

For those joining, please mute as soon as you enter the room, so everyone can hear. Please note, the services will be recorded, but at this time, there are no plans to share the recording.

More Information

Religious Education for children and youth begins at 9:30 a.m. in the same room! Learn more here.

If you don’t have a chalice, but want to light one, check out our Making a Chalice at Home page.

Service is followed by Coffee Hour.

Sermon Audio

Learn to Grow Backwards

by LeAnne Struble

Sermon Text

When I was asked to do today’s service I had no idea what kind of service it would be.  I had no idea what kind of a year we were heading into, this was before the November election.  Would I need to find words that would give us hope when we felt there was none, Would I need to find words to remind us that not everyone believes the same as we do and we need to be gracious in our win and our losses.

The election came and I could see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and unlike in a good looney toon cartoon it was not the light of the oncoming train. Still I wondered what can I say that anyone wants, let alone needs to hear.

Then on a normal Wednesday inspiration hit.

My young neighbor, a little boy about three years old was getting out of the car and fell. He face planted on the parking lot and as expected he started crying. Mom ran to him and sister ran into the house. Mom held him and talked to him making sure that the trauma was more emotional than physical. Sister though knew what to do. She came running out of the house carrying a shiny fire truck that she handed to her brother. The magic of that fire truck dried up the tears and brought a different kind of sound as he ran in the house laughing and making siren noises.

My first thought was I am glad that he is ok, my second thought was I wish a toy fire truck could fix all of our problems.

I realized then that it wasn’t just the fire truck that fixed the problem, it was something in the child that we have let go of as adults.

As I thought more about it I realized that we spend so much time trying to get children to grow up and act like adults that we miss the point. Children are more resilient, have coping mechanisms that we take for granted.

They know how to deal with life’s problems because we let them when they are small but there comes a point when we say enough of that time to act like a grown up.

When my mom passed away our various communities were wonderful with my children telling them that their Grandma loved them still and would always be with them in their heart. These same people would then turn to me and say things like she is in a better place now, or I would be fine.

When did I get too old to be told that my mom is still in my heart.

When did we all get too old to stop doing the things that brought us comfort as a child. Is there a magical number and if there is can I suggest that we need to up that to like 110.

It really shouldn’t surprise us that many children are infatuated with fire trucks. Fire trucks come when everything is going wrong and they quietly take care of everyone and solve the problem. That is a power that even children can see and a power that they understand.

Children have other skills that we put off as just play. Maybe instead of just saying that is a great way to play we should ask, what can I learn from that?

Do you remember making forts out of couch cushions and blankets?

It wasn’t just a way to antagonize your brother with a no boys allowed sign, sorry Scotty, it was creating a safe place where you could be who you were, no judgement.  What kind of world are we working towards as adults? A place where everyone feels safe, can be their authentic self, no judgement. Imagine peace negotiations if everyone had to sit on the floor together in a blanket fort instead of around a table where someone is at the head and made to feel they are in charge.

As adults we like to think we are so smart and then see if there is a way to make money from how smart we are. One of the largest growing industries is the adult coloring industries. Special pens, pencils, markers, books. People talk about how calming and creative this makes them feel.

I wonder who else uses coloring and drawing to express their emotions?

Often children are asked to draw what they feel because they may not have developed the vocabulary to express their feelings. When children hand us a drawing we ask them questions like what do you see here, and say I like the purple animal, I never realized cows really wanted to be purple.

Then as we get older we stop looking at the drawings as expressions of the inner self and start pointing out all of the flaws. Cows really aren’t purple. People stop drawing because they cannot live up to the expectation of perfect.  Perfect what?

I am often asked why I work with the children and people laugh when I answer, that I do it so I can still play with crayons without any judgement. Usually they laugh and think that I am making a joke but I notice that I have been able to get past my anxiety and anger over this year and often I do that by breaking out the color crayons, there is something magical in the smell of a new box of crayons.

Take a moment now and think of your favorite thing as a child. If you feel like it, type it in the chat and share with all of us.

Now, take a moment and think about when you gave that thing up and why you did that.

What did you get from that toy, what was its importance to you? Is there a way for you to get that feeling back?

Our chalice and altar today are decorated with toys that mean things to my family but at the same time it is decorated with things that I use all the time.

Things that keep me connected to the child and remind me that no matter how bleak things look I can find calm and joy in the small things of life.

I understand that as adults we have to look at things somewhat differently, if I were to face plant out of my car, it would probably start with a trip to the emergency room, but then could I learn not to let it take over my entire day and make me miss the good things that day.

The next time life seems overwhelming, unfair, and down right mean, take out some crayons, a doll, legos, reach in for the child in you and let the joy out.

We have big tasks to work on but, maybe a new box of crayons, a pile of lego and a stuffed animal can help us find a creative solution to these problems.

The next time you see a child playing, ask yourself what could I learn from this, then join in and let them teach you how to be a child.

East Shore Unitarian Sermons (Bellevue, WA)
East Shore Unitarian Sermons (Bellevue, WA)
Learn to Grow Backwards
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Details

Date:
Sunday, January 3
Time:
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Event Categories:
, ,
Join Us:
https://tinyurl.com/ESUCSunday

Venue

Online Sunday Morning
12700 Southeast 32nd Street
Bellevue, WA 98005 United States
View Venue Website