Friday after Ash Wednesday

The day is unsettled. In the time I’ve been up, the sky has gone from clear and sunny

to overcast and blustery, to clear again,

to overcast and blustery.

and that’s just the sky, never mind the email and text messages and phone calls that have blustered through, upsetting what we thought was.

Oh. And the blog. This is the second time I’ve written this post this morning. The first one disappeared. Regardless of WordPress always saving drafts, it didn’t.

So the question becomes, how do we hold on to our Lenten resolve (just two days in!) when life becomes unsettled?  “Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?” says Isaiah.

My way of holding onto resolve is to sit down, breathe, let my fingers play across the keyboard, write to you (even if I have to write it twice. Twice!! Okay. Breathe).

How do you hold on to your balance, to your resolve to heal that which wounds, which gets in your way? Breathing works for me; what works for you? How do you untie “the thongs of the yoke; and set free” that which oppresses?


The Paradox

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

In today’s Deuteronomy reading, Moses says to the people, “Today I have set before you life and  prosperity, death and doom.”

In Luke, Jesus says, “What profit does he show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process?”

In both readings, we’re given the paradox of life: abundance and death. Both are present all the time, and yet we humans prefer the blind flight into abundance and are shocked by the sudden stop when our flight is blocked.

It’s hard to keep life and death in our consciousness at the same time. That’s why Lent is so valuable: for a short period of time, we force ourselves into conscious behavior when we abstain from something, whether that something is food or drink or a behavior.

What paradox are you facing today? Maybe it’s as simple as knowing a springtime day promises while still feeling the chill of winter at your fingertips or toes; maybe it’s a longing for that usual mid-morning coffee you have decided to forego; maybe you are looking at your tendency to worry and choosing not to.

Name the paradox; look at it. Where is your balance point in living them both, today?