A very long time ago, people wandered from village to village exchanging stories of their experiences, while at the same time enjoying the hospitality. As time passed resources in the villages became scarce, and those that enjoyed a nomadic life were discouraged and told there was no food that could be shared. So, one day, a traveler wandered into a village and set up a small encampment. It was on the side of the road not too far from the village marketplace. As they unpacked, they assembled wood and leaves under a large cooking pot. Once the fire was started and the water boiling, a clean stone from their pack was unwrapped from its bindings, and carefully, yet ceremoniously dropped in the pot of hot water. Curious villagers observing the actions of the traveler, began to gravitate towards the boiling pot. As a small crowd began to gather, one by one, each person would ask what was being made in the pot. The traveler would answer, “stone soup!” It is a delicious recipe, and the traveler would be willing to share, but the soup required just a few more garnishes to improve the taste. The villagers scattered, but returned with vegetables, a soup bone, herbs, onions, potatoes, etc., the boiling pot was filled to the brim with its hearty content. After boiling a little more, the soup was ready and plentiful enough for the entire village to enjoy a meal together.
What is illustrated here in the story is not a simple stone and boiling water, but a leap of faith for the traveler to believe in the villagers. For the villagers it is the investment of trust and generosity for the stone soup to become something more than a pot of hot water and a stone.
In the beginning, the traveler knew they lived in a world that was reciprocal and abundant. However, over time they experienced the villages slowly closing, shutting out others to keep themselves safe and only to themselves. There no longer existed, sharing, or caring for one another. The travelers in their experience knew the villagers, like we often do when we experience lack or change, were hoarding their good. What I would name energy, love, ideas, etc. The villagers thinking by holding back they were abundant, when they were poorer, because their energy was stagnant, and they were no longer connecting with one another.
In the Science of Mind, we understand when we are looking through a lens of lack, it is better to clean those lenses and shift our minds from problems to possibilities. We then move mentally from the root cause of “not enough” to abundance. When we create the shift, we refocus on our gifts and possibilities, reigniting connection. Stone Soup may be a parable about the value and significance of community (a village) sharing small parts of their pantries, but it continues to express how often we deprive ourselves and everyone else of a feast when we separate ourselves from the ONE source of all that is. We can have more together than we can separately, the abundance of the soup is the result of a village bringing their resources together to feed everyone. We are each making a significant contribution no matter what amount you bring to the table. It is a feast for all.
As a spiritual community, it is important for us to break bread together. To create a sense of belonging and demonstrate a mindset of connectedness. We invite others into our conversation to share ideas and offer them a dessert of safety and support. As a Center we are in a consciousness of caring for the whole. By sharing our gifts, we will inspire others to do the same. The reward is a banquet that can nourish many, and an abundance of new friends we create new experiences with!
I leave you with these words from Ernest Holmes our Founder:
“We should give of ourselves in love and in service to others, in a spirit of generosity and good-fellowship. To refuse to give is to refuse to receive, for everything moves in circles. Real giving is the givingness of the self. A kind word, a thoughtful act, perhaps just a smile, can help lighten the burdens of others.” (Ideas for Living, 1972, pg. 55)
I look forward to being with you this Sunday and moving forward as a spiritual community.
–In love, Rev. Rhonda