Holding On: Yes and No
Lent is a time for reflection. It’s a time for stretching and wandering around – circles, straight lines, hills and dales. It’s in and out. It’s holding on to endings and beginnings. It’s yes and no.
Holding on to the Yes in Lent is about opening doors and entering into something new, something not yet. Yes in Lent is about Spring and the welcoming of all that is budding and blooming around and within. It is beginning and beginning again. It is stepping out along the way, trusting that what is next will bring life. Yes can bring possibilities, discoveries, new life. Yes can save our spirits in this season.
Holding on the No in Lent is about mindfulness and self-care. It is about setting boundaries and conserving time and energy. It is about clarifying what matters most in this moment and what no longer does. No can bring new understandings, simplicity and affirmations. No can save our spirits in this season.
How is it possible that we can go through this season holding on to both Yes and No? How can we not? Is this possible? Is this just double speaking? OR…is this inviting a more honest, clear and more fully human way of being in relationship with friends and family, coworkers and perfect strangers? Does it invite a fuller presence and participation in our days? Does it invite us to more fully answer when invited in?
I truly don’t know how you answer these questions. It’s been fun for me to wander around and wonder about holding on to both of these as sister-words for this season. As old as this phrase is – “then my `yes’ means `yes’ and my `no’ truly means `no’ - this phrase still rings true. This Lenten season then is not a time of over-committing or under-delivering. It can be instead just me. Honestly. Fully present. Glad to be doing or being with. Me with no resentments, no “dad-gummits,” no “I wished I’da's…” Me. Awake. Present. Here. With you and whatever you asked of me. Heart open and here. With you. Here.
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Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Her passions are listening to her sons, John Brogan and Sam sing; great conversations, long walks and baseball.