Seems like one of the most popular episodes of Ally McBeal was “Theme of Life,” the one where her therapist (played by Tracey Ullman) tells Ally that she needs a theme song. I mean I never really watched the show, yet I knew about that episode. I mention it because the teaching story for this week’s small group ministry session on the spiritual practice of You (based on resources from spiritualityandpractice.com) gives the same advice. In the story, a woman tells the author that her father gave her a theme song when she was born. It’s a lovely idea, one that sounds a little classier coming from a book by a poet and philosopher rather than a television show. No matter where it comes from, the notion of having a theme that you live by makes sense. And if you can set that theme to music, all the better!
Follow the grain in your own wood.
— Howard Thurman quoted in To Love and Be Loved by Sam Keen
A Teaching Story from Generous Strangers and Other Moments from My Life by John Skoyles
Poet and philosopher John Skoyles finds examples of the sacred in his everyday experiences — such as this encounter with a woman in a hospital:
At one point, she asked, “Do you have a theme song?”
“A theme song?” I asked.
“A song that followed you or that someone gave to you. Did you give your son a song when he was born?”
I hadn’t, but I told her that the radio was playing in the hospital room when Harry was born, and I recalled that as he was being delivered, Shirley Bassey was singing “Goldfinger” from the James Bond movie.
“When I was born,” she said, “my father said my theme song would be ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ Do you know that one?”
“Yes, that’s a good one.”
“It is,” she said, “but that’s just what I’ve gone and done.”
And I guess she had. I had never met anyone like her.
Questions: What is your theme song? How does it resonate with your soul?
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O God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is!
— Macrina Wiederkehr quoted in A Grateful Heart edited by M. J. Ryan
To Practice This Thought: Identify one beautiful truth about yourself.
For a PDF version of this small group ministry session, click here: You.
For more information on small group ministry, visit the UU Small Group Ministry Network.