In my previous post, I described how my seminarian peers were "on fire" for God. It would be interesting to see what it looked like if Unitarian Universalists (UUs) that I met were equally fired up about our faith. What would we as individual UUs say to the people that we encountered? Seriously, UUs on fire!
To begin with, a UU on fire would not let a new person enter his or her life without saying something about the faith. If you met a person on the street, in the supermarket, on the subway, you'd have something to say about what the faith is and stands for. It stands for a lot. Don't get me started.
Many UUs want to introduce others to the Principles, the guiding ideals of Unitarian Universalism.
This is a mistake. Though the Principles are a beacon of light, for an outsider, they are too nebulous and a far cry from traditional theological language. Instead, if you begin with your own personal, transformational experience, people will become curious. That is something that can be explained in a personal manner.
The faith encourages you to develop your own spiritual path, if you are so inclined. That isn't necessary. But, if you do, talking about your personal values as they relate to UU Principles can be a nice segue to genuine personal interaction and exchange.
Another thing that a UU on fire would do is invite a friend, neighbor, or newly-made acquaintance to church. Here is an area where we do some work. Where the traditional faith beat us hands-down is on the "spread the word" tip. They are always ready to tell the world what the "Lord has done" for them lately. Guess what? Curious minds want to know.
I'm watching a new series on amazon called Hand of God. The show is largely about what happens when a person catches for God. A lot of other stuff happens, too, but the religious experience is what drives the program. UUs could make a substantially larger effort to convey what their "lord," has done lately. Of course, for a UU, their "lord" is their passion, their burning desire, the individual and collective energy, etc.
Another important element to the life on fire is involvement; participation. The UU on fire is going to say to her or himself, "I've got to get busy doing something." If that is you, hopefully, you're saying to yourself, "Enough of this coming to church, hearing a dynamic sermon (one that doesn't make me feel guilty), then going home without meeting anyone new of being a part of the church's inner life."
If you've been watching the news from California lately, one thing that you know about wildfires is that they spread. The spread fast! Whatever is in the fire's path is quickly engulfed in flames. We've got some engulfing to do. Those who believe in letting the world come to us are in a form of denial. This is not a "If you build it, they will come" type of situation here, folks. We built it, they didn't all come. And many who did, aren't joining. We've got to get our "engulfing" on! It's up to you and me, sister.
One of my favorite songs from my high school days was "Fire," by the Ohio Players. "You got me burning, burning, baby" was one of the best-known lyrics of that time. Those are the words of a person whose heart is on fire for another. UUs on fire could stir up the same level of passion in the world if we just let ourselves become a little more vulnerable and open up. The fire is burning in us. We've just got to let it out.
A famous person once said:
Fooled you, didn't I? You were expecting Ben Franklin. Oh well. But seriously, we need to set ourselves on fire. We can change the spiritual game if we try. Besides, we can't let all of those seminarians have all the fun! There's enough fun to go around. We need to get ours. Not tomorrow, but today.
Namaste, my friends,