Ruth Gordon saw her first musical as a girl in Boston. She knew she wanted to be an actress, but her parents told her she would never make it. Her teachers told her the same thing. She went to acting school, and her coaches told her she hadn’t been born with the necessary gifts. She was too short, she was not attractive enough, and her acting skills were not that great. You’ll never make it, they all said. Well she made it. She became an international star, eventually winning an Oscar. She said her motto was, “Never face the facts unless you are ready to forget them.”
What a mind-bending motto! I hope she doesn’t mean we should ignore important facts. Sometimes we need to take an honest look at ourselves, face up to what isn’t working, and make a decision to change. Other times, as with Ruth Gordon, we shouldn’t let other people’s opinions of us have the last word (or even the first or the second word). In those cases, we’ll get much farther believing in our gifts and talents even when others don’t. This is especially true when we need to reinvent ourselves — a need that arises on numerous occasions over the course of our lives.
I’ve been thinking about this need as we approach the 209th Annual Meeting of our congregation this Sunday. Any church that has lasted more than two centuries has had to reinvent itself many times, and we are currently in the process of doing it again, prompted by the completion of our new worship space and the challenges and opportunities associated with how best to use it.
I thought we got off to a great start last Sunday, and I’m excited about the possibilities for the future. Here’s an opportunity for all of us to ponder how we can reinvent our lives with God’s help.
I’m looking forward to focusing on this theme for the next three Sundays. Reinvention is huge in the Bible. I see it in powerful ways in the life of Joseph in the Old Testament and in the church at Philippi in the New.
I hope you will commit yourself to exploring this theme with me, and that we will find many practical applications for both our individual lives and our life together in Christ.
In love, hope, and peace,