Saturday, September 6, 2008

SHED Your Commitments

I once took a week-long jazz appreciation class with an older gentleman who celebrated out loud at the start of our class how exciting it was for our class of jazz lovers to have gathered from all different places to enjoy a week of great music together. His enthusiasm and making the most of each moment is an example I have identified with my whole life.

So when Julie Morgenstern asked her readers in "When Organizing Isn't Enough" to look for schedule commitments that are dragging you down and keeping you from moving forward to the next exciting theme in one's life, I didn't have these. Every single commitment I have is one I thoroughly enjoy. It wasn't always so.

This week I resigned from the board of my local children's museum (#4 in the nation, thank you very much). I have served just shy of six years and loved every minute of it. We are about to start a multi-million addition to the museum and the people on my board are of such terrific good will and wisdom, it was a pleasure to serve. I was on the facility committee and I do wistfully admit I hate missing the upcoming good part because I would have learned sooo much. There are very experienced construction minds on that board. I am very proud of my board work there.

Yesterday, I went and told my pastor that I was moving. My church is AWESOME. My church family is so loving and welcoming and they all get along. The music program is incredible. I love my church because my church never shies away from combining the intellectual and the spiritual. That doesn't seem to be a popular combination in America, because mainline churches are struggling with membership.

One insight I learned from my minister gave me enormous pause at the time he said it. In the context of a discussion about if good manners include how you left the world and the state of your government for the next generation, he said that 100 years from now, future generations will look back at how we used up all the oil and left so much public debt for our children and grandchildren to pay off that they will ask of us with the same spiritually questioning we ask looking at slaveowners from 100 years ago: "What were they thinking?"

Tomorrow I go to my last church service and it's going to be a giant celebration of all the downtown churches getting together to form a redevelopment corporation to uplift our neighborhood. The music program will be incredible as usual, only supersized, as all the choirs from all the churches will sing together outside in celebration. This church commitment has been a gift.

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