As we near the end of our journey for this Lenten season, we are mindful of what we see now in our rear-view mirror. What was before. Just in these few days into weeks, we have come to a different place. We are mindful of what feels similar, but somehow has shifted, somehow feels different around us. Signs of change and transformation show themselves. When we began our journey back in early March, the branches of the trees were bare and stark. Now for many of us as we make our way along sidewalks and streets, we are beginning to see canopies of leaves overhead. Some of us have moved in and through illnesses in these past weeks. Some of us are not yet feeling better. Some of us have been injured and are now moving through the world with a limp...and still we keep moving.
It is good for us to pay attention to what we have picked up along the way through this Lenten season. What things have come to us as gifts and graces? What things have we intentionally sought? What things are new discoveries? What things feel like re-discovered old friends? Conversely, it’s important for us to think about what we have put down and let go of. What things were too heavy, too cumbersome? What brought us life at one time and now don't seem to anymore? What things (habits, practices, ways of being in the world) just don't fit anymore?
Soon we will move into our final days, but not yet. Soon we will be entering into the Lenten story that many of us have heard so many times before. But not yet. Not today. Today, we still have a ways to go. Still we journey on. It matters that we continue to participate. This is not the season to switch anything on auto pilot. Our eyes and ears, our minds and hearts are to stay open as we continue in these pilgrim days. For us, this journey is our time to continue to practice and pay attention to what is bringing us life. To participate in these days and to pay attention to what brings life to others, and then to do something about that.
My friend, Ann Gerondelis has created a beautiful Lenten book, Open Our Hearts. A reading for this week is entitled, "Unfolding." she writes, "So this morning, I sketch my dreams for a glorious day into reality. And I pray: God, fill us with the hope of the day unfolding and all the potential you know that it holds. What gifts you give to all your people. Extraordinary gifts indeed."
Amen and amen. May it be so.