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Minister’s Corner - Football, Randomness, Preparation, and Church

It is said that football is a game of inches. Look back on nearly any game and if you could

control two feet of the motion of the football, sometimes two inches, and you would control not only games- but legacies.

Moments in sports get remembered and made sacred in ways that almost feel divinely fated. They are not. However, in life like in football, you never know what will or what will not make a difference.

New England Patriots football team logo

Serious Patriots fans know that if…

  • Adam Vinatieri’s foot moved just two inches on any of his famous kicks, or

  • Brady’s arm was two inches further forward in the tuck rule game against Oakland, or

  • Belichick decided to punt on the famous (4th and 2) call against Indianapolis, or

  • During the draft, Tom Brady had been picked by any one of the 198 teams that passed him over, or

  • Drew Bledsoe had not gotten injured in that Jet game, or

  • In 2007 the ball David Tyree caught on his helmet in the Giants game slid off, or

  • In 2011 Asante Samuel squeezed his hands a little quicker or more deftly,

and football history changes. And with those small changes a bit of our region's sense of self changes. Sorry if that was a lesson available to only serious Patriot fans. However, the broader point is available to everyone.

In life, like in a football game, you never know what will make a difference. Football teaches us that there are seconds of our lives that matter immensely. The wrong or right answer at a job interview, which of a woman’s eggs is the one that gets fertilized, the flinch (or not) during a sneeze while driving your car, running into your future spouse at TJ-Max.

We UUs know this too. In our little religion that fears taking a position on everything supernatural, we have adopted the position that history is open. The way we phrase it is

"revelation is not sealed".

We believe that fate is not fixed. In a religion reluctant to say anything that would confine the view of any member, we boldly say that it is obvious that no book has, or could, forecast the future. It is rare for a religion to adopt such a position. And this means a lot.

It means of course, that we as a church or movement could either blossom or fail or both. That any of us, or our programs, could change the face of this town we live in. That we could fall apart and disband. Interestingly, reason also tells us that most likely none of these sudden things will happen and that our church and likewise our families will have futures that are more likely determined by the level of attention, care, and concern that we give them.

A unique position among religious, by saying that revelation is not sealed we are saying that fate is in our hands, and we can do anything we want. The future for our little church is open. Let’s embrace that.

It's important to pause within this newsletter and remind us of the blessings we have. We have a building that, although classic in its design, is relatively new and in great shape. That we don’t have to pay taxes on anything other than commercial gains i.e. cell towers. That we sit in the center of town, with a population of people, approximately half of which share our values, and half of them don’t have enough community connections or a religious home.

Let’s pause and remember that more likely than not, fate is in our hands, and we can or could do anything we want to.

See you in church!

Rev. Steve


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