Firstly, thank you all for attending this ordination.
I have now been a member of the temple for three and a half years.
When I began, I had no idea what to expect.
I’m not going to lie, I originally thought it was just a Star Wars fan group and the forums would be filled with online roleplaying.
That perception, of course, would swiftly change.
Being in a rough time in my life when I joined, I didn’t even really know who I was.
I had no idea I would be standing (or rather sitting) here being ordained deacon within the Temple.
I had no idea I would even make it past the initiate program.
But what I saw before me was an opportunity.
What that opportunity would lead to, I really had no idea. I’m not sure I know entirely even now.
But opportunities are a way in which the Force influences our lives.
The pattern places choices before us such that we are able to exert our free will to attempt to direct things towards a favorable outcome.
They are like lightning: the chances of them hitting the same spot twice are slim.
Too often people will let opportunities pass them by. They are afraid.
After all, such opportunities lead to change, and change leads to uncertainty for the future.
But life is a process of change and growth.
Everything is in flux and trying to resist that will only lead to eventual conflict. Or stagnation.
Instead, we should choose to live in the present and go with the flow of what life brings us.
And this brings me to what the Temple has meant to me: It is a safe location that presents opportunities for change and growth.
Not only have a learned about myself through introspection, but also confront fears that were controlling my life.
Since becoming a licensed minister, I was given the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences in the form of sermons. To attempt to touch other people’s lives as others had previously touched mine.
I’m not saying I’m at a conclusion in this journey, because there can be no real end. There is always room for improvement.
But what can happen is the opening of further opportunities. That is what today represents for me: another door opening.
While I cannot deny it is a great feeling to know that others appreciate and acknowledge what I have done thus far, while it is a pretty comforting feeling that I’m a part of the clergy for a religion that has had a deep impact on my life, today for me is about the potential of new opportunities.
And this is the final message I would like to remind you all of: There are tons of opportunities for growth and helping others within the temple.
Go outside your comfort zone of what’s familiar.
I admit, I was nervous about the idea of writing sermons. So I signed up to write monthly sermons.
And that’s what I would like all of you listening right now to do: Go and do something you wouldn’t normally do, even if it makes you nervous.
(within reason of course. Let’s avoid drugs and murder please)
Read a book that you wouldn’t normally read.
Begin learning a new language.
Experiment with shamanism.
Live life and embrace opportunities to change and grow.