Our son’s school sends out a monthly calendar and as I was perusing it, I realized there was a teacher in-service day that I hadn’t been expecting. Maybe it was the leap day or the shortness of February that made me miss the update, but I found myself scrambling because that’s a day I had been expecting to have childcare.
Isn’t it funny how we get so accustomed to routine and patterns that we trick our brains into thinking these things are stable and will not change? But they do change. Natural disasters, weather, and sickness all impact whether schools are opened or closed and often these decisions are made last minute when we least expect it.
The same is true in our working life. Companies get acquired or restructured, leadership changes and suddenly we realize we don’t fit there or that our skills and experiences aren’t valued as they used to be valued.
Lent reminds us of the uncertainty of the darkness. The ever-changing and ever-aging nature of our own physical bodies and indeed the world around us. It’s not a comforting reminder, in fact, more often than not we run from these reminders with the hope those brain tricks will kick in and we can get back to “normal” life.
Lent reminds us of the uncertainty of tomorrow. When you are in the wilderness, you don’t know where the wilderness ends or when your wilderness journey will come to an end. You walk, you pray, you fast, in hope that there will be an end and that the Divine will be present with you through the end, however, long that might be.
We can run from these reminders or we can lean into these reminders. When we run, we resist the revelations of the wilderness and the gratitude that comes with the light of day after that dark night. When we lean in, we remember that we are dust that we are not Creator God. We cannot be all things to all people. We cannot do everything, but we can do something. We lean into the realization that we have today, this day, and that we get to decide how to spend this day.
Tomorrow has enough troubles of its own, lean into this Lenten day.