Stability. Listening. Change.
The cycle appears in all our lives. Each of us strikes a different balance.
To whom do you listen? Where do you find stability? Where do you seek it? When has radical change surprised you? When have you yearned for it?
My own answers come easily. I listen to my family. That’s where I find stability. In the rest of my life, however, I’m driven by change. Change where I live. Change how I work. Change what I learn.
On Thanksgiving, I felt the weight of change. My extended family seems too small. Many have died, few have been born. Our little nuclear family of four came to Canada looking for change, but we’re all alone here. I’m so grateful for my spouse and co-parent, and for our two young adult children.
Of course I worry about them, sometimes. I ask myself: Are they interested in their studies and passing their classes? Do they show up at work to fulfill their responsibilities? Do they have any loyal friendships? Do they do some volunteer work in the community? Are they kind to animals? Do they stay in touch with one another?
I wish I had such clarity when evaluating my own life! Wait, I think I did just list criteria for evaluating my own life. And I did it by judging someone else!
Will I ever change?
With these questions, I enter Yom Kippur. And I pray for the ability to listen for answers.
Many thanks to Anglican Bishop Melissa Skelton for teaching about the three Benedictine principles at the Vancouver School of Theology, and to Rabbi Howard Seigel for asking me about parenting at Congregation Beth Tikvah in Richmond, BC.