How easy it is to love the changes we initiate, at least in their first hours, before those changes are beyond our own doing and turn around and tell us to hurry up, break us apart from our dearly held and comfortable habits, ask more of us than we had expected, more of us than is comfortable to live! How easy it is then, Beloved, to retreat into the thicket of complication, in the mess of shattered habits, and hide out there, holding the once familiar pieces close, even though life beckons us forward, even though joy is singing just beyond the thicket's edge. How easy it is to fear the changes others initiate, knowing that they are already beyond our own doing and control, and shouting at us to hurry up, get back into the game, and somehow know what the rules are and the goals, the purpose, when all is shifting, and the plays we have practiced all our lives are no longer sufficient. Then, Beloved, in the middle and muddle and the messiness, then, let us remember the coaching that helps us breathe, the larger goals that guide us in life: of generosity and graciousness, of joy in learning and joy in turning this world toward greater peace and justice, of gratitude for the flashes of beauty and the solidity of a team when it first learns how to play well in a rapidly changing world, and of the love that sings us into being more than we imagined possible, of doing more for goodness' sake than seems probable, of dancing with the changes and even as we fumble, stumble, and get in each others' ways, find that laughter in dancing together. The breaking apart of our simple habits are necessary to truly cultivate our hearts, to be love and not just to love in little bits and pieces. Today, may we accept that change and challenge, the whirl and wonder, that calls us out of the thicket of defenses and justifications into greater love. Amen.