June 6, 2021 Sunday Service Message: Looking Forward vs. Thinking Backward

Graduation

Traditionally, June is the time for graduation ceremonies.  We celebrate the achievements of our young people as they move from one stage of life to the next.  Primary school, high school, and university graduates are recognized and we celebrate their accomplishments.

This week, Unity Spiritual Center is honoring two graduates from our Youth of Unity (YOU) program – Maeve Nelsen and Correy Zemon.  When offered the opportunity by Rev. Joanne to deliver the Sunday message, Maeve and Correy, along with another of our youth program members, Will McLoney, they were pleasantly surprised and readily agreed to share the stage.

Correy reminds us that when someone graduates high school it marks not only the completion of that portion of their education, but that other changes are also occurring for them.  Although each person’s experience is different, moving out of their parents’ home, going to university (often in another city), beginning full time employment, and having less dependency and supervision of family, are all common.  Because of covid, he says, his senior year in high school was not at all what he expected.  Physical isolation from friends for much of the school year made him cherish being back in school in person that much more special.

Maeve also graduated from high school this year.  She decided that she would remain an online student through graduation.  During that time, she says, she developed a new passion for reading, and completed more than sixty books in the past fifteen months.  She also had the opportunity to develop her relationship with her grandmother by participating in a book exchange – giving her grandmother the opportunity to read what young adults are reading, and Maeve the opportunity to read what her grandmother is interested in.

Will, still in middle school, shared his experience of the past year with our congregation.  In May of 2020, his family relocated from Ohio to Virginia.  Relocation to a new city always provides challenges but with covid restrictions, he tells us, adjusting to a new city and school was even more challenging.  But Will decided to approach these changes with a positive attitude, with no sense of self pity or negativity.

At one time or another, we all experience regret and resentment.  Correy reminds us that while these feelings are natural, we have a choice to release them and look forward instead of backward.  We can punish ourselves with regret over things we said or did that we wish we had not, or for things we should have done but chose not to.  We cannot relive yesterday.  Releasing feelings of regret is definitely a positive step to take.  When we do so, we have the opportunity to also learn from our errors of omission or commission by remembering the Truth of who we are and resolving to make better decisions in the future.

Resentment is holding someone or something in our consciousness with the feeling we have been treated unfairly, such as the covid restrictions.  It is true that in life we are sometimes treated unfairly.  No one likes that, but we have within us the power to release the feelings of indignation and blame.  When we do, we no longer are carrying the unnecessary weight of something that has already occurred (whether we are correct about how we feel about being mistreated or not) and move forward knowing that we are not giving away our power to negative thoughts.

I am very impressed with the maturity of Correy, Maeve and Will.  As they continue to build on the already formidable foundation of spiritual understanding they have demonstrated, they will be able to move through life with the knowing that with God all things are possible.

We love you, we bless you, we appreciate you, and we behold the Christ in you.

Now Go and Be the Light.

Scripture

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Spiritual Practice

This week, notice when your thoughts are on regrets, wishful thinking, etc. and make a conscious choice to turn it around.  For example if you are focused on regrets or wishful thinking, turn it around to focus on something you are grateful for in the moment.

Greg Skuderin