“Let’s talk about Essentials.”  

Sounds like a Webinar, doesn’t it?  “Grow Your Business in 12 Easy Essential Steps!”

Or a diet or a nutrition plan. “Be sure to eat four to six servings of these essential foods every day for a new, leaner, healthier you!”

But this is not a program or a marketing package.  This is about life itself.

We’ve been talking a lot lately about what is “essential.”  The edicts come down from on high – seemingly changing by the day – of what is deemed “essential.”

We do need to heed those edicts when the health and well-being of the community are at risk, so I’m all for wearing masks and practicing wise and careful social distancing to keep our brothers and sisters (of any age) safe and well.

In our communal life, we must decide communally what is essential for the common good.

But, in other areas, discernment must be exercised, and healthy boundaries practiced.  For, deeming what is essential in our own spiritual lives is, at its core, a matter for each heart.

Each of us must reflect – throughout life, not just now – on what is essential for us. It cannot be imposed from the outside – it’s up to each of us to do our own inner work and reflection.

So, what is essential for you?

I’ve been reflecting on this for weeks and have come to “A Few Essentials” for myself, as I remember I am one unique piece of the Big Puzzle of our shared humanity.

What’s essential to me:

• That each person ask that question for themselves. And then, go and live out those clarified values and convictions.

• That each person then ask themselves:  “How does my List of Essentials pertain to and play out in loving my neighbor, in essential ways?”

Every neighbor – Our black and brown neighbor, Muslim neighbor, gay neighbor, neighbors across the border and down the street?

• Living with Intention!

• That my energy be used in creative, generative, encouraging and collaborative endeavors.

• That I continue to look for the gifts of this time, amidst the challenges. 

• That I share my Spirit-given gifts in ways that matter and lift up the spirits of those around me and far away.

• That I be an instrument of community building up and not tearing down, even as I seek to raise awareness and seek greater understanding of the pain of our brothers and sisters who are not welcomed to the table of our shared life.

• That I/we remember who and Whose we are. To be authentic in every way, even when challenging injustice and shining light into places where change is sorely needed.

• That we find new ways to express love of God and neighbor, to take it to the streets (or the airwaves) if we can’t gather safely in a building.

• That we choose life!  Life-giving, not spirit-killing activities and interactions.

• Music is essential to me. Soul-filling and world-healing music and musicians, friends and strangers alike. 

Every soul, every message and act of solidarity and support, everything that builds up, lifts spirits and elevates the heart of another person, creature or entity – that’s what is essential!

In my book anyway.  What’s in your “List of Essentials?”

Rev. Rebecca K. Poos is the Pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ in BV. She can be reached at revbecca@icloud.com  or 719-252-6890.

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