Once Upon a Lenten Journey
by Dr. James R. Brooks
Once upon a time, we traveled a path that was long and full of obstacles. The farther we walked, the pebbles of the path turned to stones, then rocks, then boulders. It was a dry path requiring only our upward climb. At one point, the boulders held us high that we might see the glory of the sun shining bright upon the fertile valley beyond.
Once upon a time, we traveled a path that was endless. The farther we walked the pebbles of the path melted into the mire. Sank did our feet as we struggled to advance. Hemmed in by sagging vines and dense canopy, we pulled and pushed our way. Our journey fell into darkness until by surprise we reached through a tackle of limbs to find ourselves upon firm ground with the brilliance of the sun warming our souls.
Once upon a time, we traveled a path that was quite like a maze. The farther we walked the pebbles of the path melded into a uniform surface that teased our attempts to discern our way. Addressed by forks and turns, roundabouts and dead-ends, the journey asked more questions than presented answers. Dizzy and distraught by our own doubt, we rounded a corner right into the face of a breeze so fresh and full of sunshine.
Once upon a time, we traveled a path that was straight. The farther we walked the pebbles of the path soothed the soles of our feet. At the same time we took in the totality of our surroundings and the immensity of our interior. The walk went by too, too quickly and in the distance we could see our destination patiently waiting our arrival. And all the while, we knew our arrival would be even more wondrous than the journey we wished would not end.
Only four of the endless ways we journey threaded together by the simple beginnings and glorious endings. The season of Lent for Christians begins with the simple beginning of Ash Wednesday and for some the rite of wearing ashes. From the humility of dust to dust we journey toward the resurrection of our lord Jesus.
To speak plainly, our journey is as individual as we are. The journey is also as similar as we are, enough to be recognizable. My encouragement is that we not stress about comparisons of journeys. Replace comparison with inspiration. Be inspired by the journeys of others and allow your journey to inspire others. Above all, journey with your best effort by giving lead to the Spirit. Know that Easter will be and for you eternally.