Sometimes, if I feel as if I have lost my way, if I cannot see True North ahead of me, I call upon the first touchstone that ever anchored my life: my family. These are people in my life who have truly known me for who I am, warts and all. These are people who, despite my shortcomings, have chosen to love me. And the reverse is also true: I love each of them, warts and all.
For some of you, I imagine that you feel quite similarly about your own families. It is a common human custom, throughout the world, to reconnect with family during the wintertime.
During these cold months, we share in the warmth of family, catch up on what another’s children have been up to, who has married whom, and ensure that those who may not have much will have enough to make it through the hard time of year. To bring good cheer, families (of many different religions) share in celebrations during the winter.
For others among us, it may be that you do not feel at all charitable or loving towards family members who have not been supportive, and
perhaps were abusive or uncaring in some way. Even these people have helped mold you into the person you have become.
For some, the touchstone that one holds onto is a life long desire to not become the person that that other person was for you. It is so difficult to live life like this. But, at some times and for some people, that may be all they have, for now.
In light of that, is it possible to build a new family, and discover a new touchstone for one’s life that is full of joy?
One thing my family has taught me: If you have wronged me, I will forgive you. If I have wronged you, I will ask for your forgiveness. Families do this for each other. It may take a long time, and we may live with some pain in the meanwhile, but someday, it is hoped that we all learn to forgive and be forgiven. Doing so allows us to keep our touchstone, our family, that helps us each to find our own True North.
One last thought: I have always believed that congregations are chosen family... !
May it ever be so and blessed be you all!