Rev. Peggy  McDonagh
February 11, 2019
Rev. Peggy McDonagh
Minister of Congregational Operations and Worship

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"Your inner spirit is rock solid. It keeps you grounded, and reminds you to pause and just be, no matter what is going on around you. This inner power helps you to rise above the waves of worry and tides of trauma and navigate any challenged that comes your way with Perseverance and poise.'

The title of Rev. Peggy's reflection this a.m. was "The Power of Perseverance." Scripture readings, read by Betsy Woolner, Chamber Choir, were Luke 11:5-9 and Mark 10:46-52 along with quotes from Douglas MacArthur  - "Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" and Vince Lombardi, Jr.- "“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

Rev. Peggy opened with a quote from Goldie Hawn: "The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud --- the obstacles of life and its suffering. The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. And that calls for perseverance and persistence. 

Referring to her mom's accident last year, she and her sisters helped her mom to hope and heal in her recovery. "Tribulations happen. Never give up." This is a choice we make every day. In the process, we overcome bitterness and develop an inner strength that keeps us "blossoming in the mud."  

Rev. Peggy posed the question, "What makes us human?" then suggested that we have the capacity to destroy ourselves and our world, to love and be loved. A climate of fear and aggression affects us and can make us destructive so we must continue loving our neighbours, ourselves, the earth and God. In Jesus' time, many people were 'invisible' like the blind man whose persistence led him to Jesus. His love for all people guided all his actions. Love and acceptance were central and continue to be in much need during our times. "Stay o the path of compassion - "so many are worthy of dignity and respect... be determined. There is power in perseverance - be steadfast...forge forward. Former U.S. President Coolidge said that nothing takes the place of persistence...We have the power to change how we live. May we be like the lotus, blooming in the mud."