The Road We Travel Together
I’ve always had a tough time falling asleep. As a child, I was skeptical about the whole idea of sleep. I thought, “Who needs it anyway? Can’t we just be awake all the time? Isn’t that what life is all about?” So it is not surprising that, when my now mother-in-law asked me a few years ago whether I was a morning person or a night person, I responded simply and with great enthusiasm, “I’m a people person!” I love being with people in religious and secular contexts, participating in fun, social justice, and community service activities; there is always something meaningful to be done. Sleep, on the other hand, has always seemed like such a waste of time—a third of our lives right down the drain in a state of lethargic inaction. However, as I have grown into a young man, I realize that something magical happens in the time just before and during sleep. We are offered a rare opportunity to sort through the noisiness and distractions of our lives to arrive at a place where we can hear the silent prayers of our hearts and of the world. And I believe it’s in this silence before sleep that we are able to touch the most authentic piece of our identities and of our dreams for the future.
As young adults, we live in a precarious time when our identities and dreams for the future are clouded by the half-fulfilled/half-crushed dreams of past generations. We are bombarded by warring expectations about how we should live our lives and what we should do to benefit the social order. However, among all of my experiences with friends from school and work, from church and my neighborhood, I see a pattern in these young dreams and deep prayers.
Our dream is not just to take Robert Frost’s road less traveled but to proclaim that this is the road we must travel together. We dream and pray for a new way of being in relationship with one another, both in our churches and in all the communities we engage with locally, nationally, and internationally. As young people, we are reimagining the kind of world we seek to create together in the twenty-first century. For we are the dreamers of dreams that have been passed down for millennia, dreams that affirm an eternal belief in a world that is yet to be created but is surely emerging around us every day. We have faith in a world that celebrates the diversity and sacredness of life and works toward the liberation and happiness of all. Unitarian Universalist young adults are engaging in the important conversations about how our identities as individuals and as a faith community must ignite in us an urge to dream a little bigger, pray a little louder, and cherish those few moments before sleep when we can touch the divinity within our hearts and in the world.