Choose Life, Then
I welcome Lent. Psychologically, I wonder if I know it means the beginning of the end of winter? Whatever it means, I like it. I am a well-intentioned, faithful person. Even at that, I need a certain discipline to provide a river bank of sorts for that raging turbulent flow that is my life and whose waters teem with all kinds of foreign objects, good and bad, light and dark. That discipline is Church. One thing we do in the Holy Roman Church is observe Lent. A designated community participation provides me with an exquisite time of contemplative thought and examination. We Catholics pray, fast and make sacrifice, and keep the needy and helpless ever closer to our heart and on our minds. For 40 days.
It's said that the forty days are symbolic of the time Moses and Elias spent in the wilderness; the Jews spent forty years wandering in in pursuit of the Promised Land. Jonah gave Nineveh forty days to shape up and repent. And Our Lord Himself spent forty days in the wilderness, fasting and praying in preparation. So forty days is what we do. Our sorrowful reflection during this time provides us with fuel for the whole next year--I've found that if I short-cut myself, I end up short-sheeting myself and in the fall, almost nothing makes sense anymore. I need the full forty days time-out to inventory and then to re-calibrate.
So: off I go. Into the wilderness to ponder the tragedy that is me and to plan my own resurrection; to walk away from the dark into the light, towards a new life.
Moses said to the people:“Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,which I enjoin on you today,loving him, and walking in his ways,and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,you will live and grow numerous,and the LORD, your God,will bless you...Choose life, then,...a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”--Deuteronomy 30:15-20
The 'Kan EWA