Thursday of the First Week of Lent
Be mindful of us, Holy One. Manifest yourself in the time of our distress and give me courage…. Esther 12
Sometimes I wonder why I take on this Lenten practice of looking at the readings, the daily Lenten readings in the Lectionary, and writing about them. I know why I write – I write to know what I’m thinking – a comment written and said by a multitude of voices. Try googling “I write to know what I’m thinking” and over 5,000 hits come up! Journal writing is my morning practice – a way to center myself in the day. But in journal writing, I don’t have to be wise. I just have to keep my pen moving. The simple repetitive act of writing gives me courage to face the day centered in my life and in my body.
The Lenten reflections are different – they are a way not to just connect with me but a way to connect on a conscious level with my God-self. What I mean by connect in a conscious way is that I consciously think about the message and how it relates. What do I need to change? What do I need to let go of in this Lenten season of self-examination?
And of course the message is that this simple, repetitive and disciplined act of looking at the readings and writing about them teaches me the importance of the connection to that deeper place of spirit. Sometimes I struggle against the discipline and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes the courage to keep writing for a public who is there – somewhere – out in the cyberspace of connections – gets pulled up from a base of “I don’t want to” to a level of this is what I’ve asked myself to do. Courage. Courage to keep going.
Queen Esther asked to keep going in order to save her people, and she was putting herself in a dangerous situation to do so. Rarely does our need for courage ask us to put ourselves in harm’s way.
We all can ask for the courage to keep going in these days of stress. It’s just stress – just keep going. To continue with what we have set in motion – because we all have things we’ve set in motion. Sometimes what we’ve set in motion is negativity. And we know we need the courage to keep going through that to a place of forgiveness! And sometimes we need courage to accept and recognize what we have set in motion, through our thoughts, words, and deeds.
The courage to keep going is the same courage of daily practice is the same courage to look at our darknesses and, day after day, lift them from our minds.
I love the word courage. It always makes me think of the cowardly lion, holding his tail tightly, and saying to Dorothy, the Tin Man, and Scarecrow – “Courage!”