Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pardon Our Dust

Today marks the first day of Lent and while we may have childhood memories of giving up junk food (french fries for me in the 7th grade.....we went to Arctic Circle on Easter Sunday, the glorious resurrection of salty, crisp goodness), Lent can be a time of deep reflection, of change, of growth, of the cocoon, waiting and transforming to become our best self. I love the anticipation of Advent, the thrilled excitement of Christmas time and our Savior's birth. Lent, though, Lent can be trick---thorny, prickly, uncomfortable. What do you mean I should reflect? What, I'm not ready for the Easter miracle right now as I am? We know how the story ends, why must we walk this difficult, often  devastating path alongside Jesus? 

A few years ago, former Bishop Wester gave a sermon on Ash Wednesday at the Cathedral that has stuck with me and I think of often. He spoke of the dust and ash from the cross and the entire Lenten journey as the  signs we often see asking us to, "Pardon the dust, we are under construction." I know we've all seen these signs--in hotel lobbies, in doctor's waiting rooms, sometimes even in malls or restaurants. I wonder what they're changing? I ponder. I wonder if I'll like the new look? or even scarier: What if I miss the old way? Maybe familiar is better. But like outdated 1970's architecture, my soul, too, needs some tending to.

 Life is busy but let us not forget to maintain our hearts in the midst of day to day activities. Souls aren't like roofs that can cave in or leak, an obvious sign that a repair is needed. But still, Lent is our annual check up, check in, and usually, more often than not, some construction or repair is needed. It's like one of those times when the car repair man comes out and says, "Welllll, it's a good thing you came in, pretty soon this wouldn't be drivable." Or even "Welllll, you don't need such and such today necessarily, but I can fix it for you today if you'd like, you'll need it eventually." We all need it eventually. 

   This season of Lent, these 40 days that are ahead as we prepare for the Easter season, let us be fully in the midst of the construction zone. There will be hammering, and cleaning, and sweeping and dusting, and fixing. But it's to make way for the new: the bolder, the better, the more beautiful and graceful. I surrender to the dust, because after all, I'm under construction. 

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