Have you been watching the Olympics?
Personally, I am not sporty or active at all - unless you count walking, gardening and yoga! However, I have found it inspirational watching the individual men and women put their all into their chosen sport and I have often joined them in their tears of ‘success’ or ‘failure’.
Somehow, it is the personal stories that touch me the most – their background, their relationships, how they see themselves as ordinary people yet we see them doing extra-ordinary things. Which, simply by being qualified to be there, they are.
It has made me reflect …
What inspires me? What inspires you? Is there something that you put your heart and soul into, like these Olympians? Is there something you are so dedicated to, that nothing else gets in the way?
I once went to a talk by Gerald Jampolsky and his wife Diane, where they described our desire to know God as being at its most powerful and effective when we are driven to focus on God to the same degree as when we need a toilet if we have diarrhoea!
We all laughed rather nervously at the time – but this talk was over 20 years ago and I have never forgotten those words. The Olympians remind me of this focus and drive. It asks of me, do I have the same focus and desire to know ‘God and I are indeed one’ as Jesus taught? Honestly, sometimes it is yes and sometimes it is no. I think that is a very human and normal response – even as a minister in Unity.
What helps inspire me to know our oneness with God? The human stories, the interactions, the struggles and amazing actions so many take, even though life feels so hard at times. This along with my desire to invite people into the experience that they are loved no matter what. Plus, the knowledge that we all have within us limitless potential, because all of God is always flowing in, through and as us. As Unity Minister Eric Butterworth taught, we can discover and use the power within. Of course, we only experience this to the degree that we recognise, claim it and allow it. Like the Olympians. So let us allow ourselves to experience this with all our heart, mind and body.
One of the real-life stories that touched me was watching Tom Daley win gold in the 10m synchronised dive with Matty Lee. The BBC spoke to Tom’s husband afterwards. Lance described how he told Tom, when he did not get gold at the Rio Olympics and Tom felt devastated by this, that it would enable him to get gold in Tokyo and that his son would watch him do this. Their son did and at three years old, he kept saying, so proud of daddy, so proud of daddy. It was beautiful.
So what is my message here today? Do not give up. Whatever you are striving to know and do, do it with all your heart, mind and soul, like the Olympians. When it feels like we fail, we don’t really. It is simply a step on the journey to success. Moreover, as Daily Word reminded us recently, we are on a journey back to God, from a place we never left. We have already won.
This month we are preparing to meet together in person – finally!
It has felt like such a long time since we at Unity Maidenhead have done this. Zoom has been, and continues to be, an amazing tool to help us connect through lockdown. To those of you who join us online, please be assured that our Zoom meetings will continue and indeed go from strength to strength.
Yet there is nothing quite like being together in person. Therefore, we are excited, as we get ready to do this through two events coming up:
It has been of utmost importance to stay safe through the pandemic – to do what is right for us physically and yet, at the same time, support ourselves spiritually. Indeed, truthfully, we become better at the former by doing the latter.
Being together in person enables us to connect more deeply with the love and support we give and receive with each other, through the deepening awareness of God as Grace here with us always.
Being together enables us to really look each other in the eye and recognise the light and love that is present within us all.
Being together deepens our friendships and relationships as we learn the little and big things about each other that endear us to each other. Seeing the perfect and imperfect in another, with loving acceptance, helps us accept and love our own imperfection and perfection, as human and spiritual beings.
As we embrace our imperfections, rather like the oyster embraces the grit in its shell that becomes a pearl, our imperfections become the tool through which we grow and remember who we are – beloved of God and the presence of love in form.
So if you are feeling the call to join us, either in person or on Zoom, please do so. We continue to be here to support everyone in all the ways we do. Whenever we meet, we encourage all involved to share the love and wisdom that we all have and are. For each one of us has more than enough love and wisdom to give and receive. Through this giving and receiving, we are all blessed.
We look forward to sharing the adventure of living with you.
Rev. Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Silent Unity and Daily Word UK
Unity in the UK