This was just a drill…
I don’t fully know why, but for most of my life I have been somewhat obsessed with safety and exit strategies in case of an emergency. I am the one who will seek out and ask the restaurant manager to remove the high chairs stacked up against the exit door. Even though I fly often, I do actually listen to the safety announcements, every time, all the way through, and I do look around for the exit nearest to my row, which, if I’m lucky, will be the row I’m sitting in. At church, I pay close attention that our doorways are not obstructed, that children and teens are supervised, and that spaces are accessible for people who have additional mobility considerations. I like fire drills of all sorts to prepare me for what life may bring, and, if possible, prevent life from bringing it.
Cautiousness and preparation work well for me in practical situations, but not so much for the spiritual and relational aspects of my life. I dive wholeheartedly into loving and caring for the people and beings around me, knowing full well that there is very little I can do to prepare for the heartbreak that comes with betrayal, disconnect, or death. I dive into new spiritual practices like a child in a ball pit, joyfully trying new ways of reflection, meditation, contemplation, and prayer with great abandon in an effort to connect more deeply with my own small voice within and the great mystery weaving the interconnected web of life. There are times when taking risks is appropriate, because life is not a drill. Making sure the exit doors aren’t blocked and the candles are fully extinguished are strategies for living a long life. Expanding my sense of connection with all beings and all mystery, wearing my heart on my sleeve, and allowing myself to be vulnerable and authentic are the risks I take to live a wholehearted life.
Rev. Jan Taddeo
[Note to UUCG Members and Friends: On Sunday, March 1, we will be having a fire drill during the worship service. If you or someone in your family is especially sensitive to the sound of the fire alarm, please prepare accordingly.]