Friday, April 3, 2015

life, love, and forgiveness...a Passover and Easter blog

This holy season is one of my favorite times of year, not just because it is finally spring, but because of what both the Jewish holiday of Passover and the Christian one of Easter represent.

Passover is about freedom – from slavery, from immobility, from all that life had been up until that point. It is about seeking a promised land.

I don’t think most of us equate this story with the lives we live today, but I think it is exactly about life today. We make ourselves slaves to our jobs, to money, to a lifestyle, to others’ expectations of us. We are held captive by limited beliefs about what is possible, and we do not equate a promised land with a place we can actually reside within our lifetime, so most of us never seek it out.

We want to feel better about ourselves, so we belittle others. We think the new Mercedes will somehow make us feel worthy or accomplished. We think that giving someone a helping hand is tantamount to enabling the alcoholic to drink, when in fact, a helping hand helps far more than the receiver. It gives to the giver as well.

Who would you be if no one was looking? What dreams would you pursue? What life would you lead? And don’t you think it’s time? We are all slaves to the choices we’ve made, so what would you choose differently right now? What choice will you make today that you will thank yourself for later on? What bondage would you like to break free from? What picture of pure joy would you paint for your life if you could? And isn’t it time we all did?

…which brings me to Easter, the one about resurrection. I love the whole idea of resurrection- bringing the once thought dead back to life. But Easter is not merely about resurrection. It is also about the persecution that preceded it. We persecute ourselves and each other in countless ways every day. We deny ourselves the very forgiveness that we seek. And if we want this world to look different and be a kinder one, then it must start with how we treat ourselves.

Resurrection begins with us forgiving ourselves. It begins with us affording ourselves the love and compassion we would want from others and from God. We must care for the child who has fallen short, because we are that child. We must believe we are worth the new start, the second chance, the resurrected dream of our life.

Right before Jesus died on the cross, he said, “It is finished.”

What do we want our lives to be before it is our turn to say, “It is finished?” What do you want your life to stand for? What’s that thing you must do before you are finished? And why? Because if we can each answer that question and be on our way toward doing it, then life becomes a whole lot sweeter and the world a whole lot more magical.

Our time is finite. That thing you’re longing for can’t wait another day. That person you love – risk it and tell them. That dream that’s in your heart – it can’t linger there in solitude for one more minute.

Freedom and resurrection are not just what holidays are about. They are what our choices in this instant are about. So is what you’re doing right now setting you free or keeping you captive? Are you resurrecting hope, love, excitement and possibilities or something else?

Faith is a living, breathing, every-expanding thing…or it is not faith at all. So however you choose to celebrate, whatever you believe to be true for you, take a breath, take a step, go beyond something you did yesterday.

It’s tine.

Peace & Blessings to all of you in this holy season of life, love, and forgiveness…