A Message from Our Kahu

“Getting Real with Yourself”

On Sunday, I talked about chapter 3 of Parker Palmer’s recent book, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old. The chapter is titled “Getting Real with Yourself,” and it challenges us to let go of illusions about ourselves and to show up as we are. As we continue our Lenten journey, I invited people to consider this question: “Am I being the person God created me to be?”

I closed my message by reading some quotes from chapter 3 and invited each person to sit quietly with each question and to ask what might need to happen in order to see oneself, God, and the world around us with greater clarity. Here are some of those quotes (with the page number in parentheses, in case you have the book and would like to read more):

  • The spiritual journey is an endless process of engaging life as it is, stripping away our illusions about ourselves, our world, and the relationship of the two, moving closer to reality as we do. (54)
  • All forms of contemplation share the same goal: to help us see through the deceptions of self and world in order to get in touch with what Howard Thurman called “the sound of the genuine.” (57)
  • [Quoting Thomas Merton] The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. (60)
  • I can’t imagine a sadder way to die than with the sense that I never showed up here on earth as my God-given self. (64)
  • True self is the self with which we arrive on earth, the self that simply wants us to be who we were born to be. (75)
  • Before he died, Rabbi Zusya said: “In the world to come they will not ask me, ‘why were you not Moses?’ they will ask me, ‘Why were you not Zusya?’” (75)

I hope some of these questions are helpful for you in learning to see yourself as God sees you. We will reflect more on this topic on Wednesday evening at our Lenten Soup Supper. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday and Sunday!

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana


“A Message from Kahu Alan Akana” is provided most weeks by Koloa Union Church, an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference.

To see a video of a recent message by Kahu Akana, click HERE. You may see the Koloa Union Church YouTube channel to see many of his past messages and subscribe in order be notified when a new message is posted. Please share these videos with friends and invite them to church. Please feel free to “Like” any of the videos you see and share them on social media, such as Facebook, so that others will notice them.

You are welcome to join us on Sunday mornings! To see our Sunday morning schedule, click HERE.

Kahu Akana is also an accomplished artist! He specializes in creating vibrant watercolors of the flowers of Hawaii and hosts a Sunday afternoon reception in a gallery at his home, the Smith Memorial Parsonage. He also meets visitors by appointment. Most of the profit from the sales go for the maintenance and upkeep of the parsonage. To see a video about his art and gallery, click HERE. To see the gallery website, click HERE.

To learn more about Kahu Akana (and the rest of the staff at Koloa Union Church), click HERE.