A celebration of the newness of life, represented in Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The early church timed the liturgical calendar so that Easter’s death, burial and resurrection would resonate with the pagan ritual of spring, when the earth shakes off it’s winter slumber. New life comes forth in hopping bunnies and bright flower buds.
We could take our cue from this tradition of regeneration. Use Spring as an excuse to time out from whatever has you spinning your wheels and remember how exciting it is to be alive. This week a schedule change at school has given me more time at the desk. I know, this sounds counter-intuitive. Having more time to work, instead of squeezing writing into the small cracks between the business of life, opened up the fun in creativity again.
Gretchen Rubin has a great suggestion for how to find a healthy recharge.
How would you like to take advantage of the sprightliness of spring?
Ash Wednesday is the moment in the church liturgical calendar when we pause as a community to remember Jesus’ temptation by the devil. Taken into the desert and offered all that the human heart could desire, Jesus said no. He prayed, he fasted, he suffered.
Not the stuff of headlines in today’s glitzy, glamorous society, particularly on the heels of the Oscars.
The day begins the season of Lent: 40 days of contemplation of this self-sacrifice in preparation for Easter. In this period many give up something as a way to experience the spirit of the season. Your craving for it is a reminder of the ways we can discipline ourselves (the anticipation of Lent is what created Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras).
More modern interpretations include beginning a new, positive habit during Lent as a spiritual practice. In 2008 I tried a mashup and focused on eliminating a bad habit: anger.
Ashes symbolize many things: the dust humans are made from, the dust we will return to. They’re often used to mark the forehead of those who attend this special service as a visual reminder of the impermanence of life.
Whether or not you are a Christian or belong to a denominate that observes Lent, this season, think about joining in either by abstaining or beginning anew.
For me, I will try the impossible: put something above my love of the carbonated beverage that is Coke. Even writing that sentence has me missing the feel of bubbles on my tongue.
But if it weren’t precious, would it be a sacrifice?