It is strange how when we are having an off day, we are laser focused on every little thing going wrong. Sounds grate on our nerves, we wince, we shudder, we feel bloated with sour, and most situations and people get on our nerves. We surround ourselves, in thought, word and deed, with spiritual barbed wire. We give off the message… “Stay away!”
However, when we're having a good day, even a lovely day, we're almost completely oblivious. We hardly even notice. We fail to pay attention to the fact we are a bit happier; we have energy, even zest; things are coming a little easier; we even like most people, most of the time; and we enjoy the day - it just comes naturally.
I find Lent to be just such an experience. We have been slogging along through all the scrutinizing spiritual “stuff”, working hard at being on the up and up, but fail to appreciate how each day we have been getting better. Then it finally hits us, the revelation strikes…THIS IS HIGHER GROUND - WE ARE HERE.
Higher ground is the domain of folks who have gotten a bit better, a lot smarter, and a little wiser. Higher ground has nothing to do with superiority, but everything to do with our capacity to enjoy the ordinary day to day. We experience average as good enough, and common, as most uncommon.
Higher ground is an altitude with attitude. Higher ground is a perspective. Higher ground is a belief that we can make a difference. Higher ground is being fully awake and aware and alive. Higher ground is doing and being mature. Maturity, when on higher ground, is thought of as spirituality.
Lent is a lift. We forget this. Lent picks us up, and even carries us. Lent gives us much needed strength and courage. Lent gets us back in the game of Life, and restarts our curiosity and imagination. Lent is a climber, and as our spirits rise, we become more loving, merciful, generous and gracious.
Lent began by calling upon us to dig way down deep, and explore the muck and mire of our lives and our world. However, somehow, someway, Lent locates a spiral staircase and we cautiously climb up, cautious only because at the beginning, on the bottom steps, we cannot see the top. Atop the steps, we see none other than the sacred turf we label higher ground.
O, Lord of Lent, stop us in our tracks, so we can see we have arrived, and this holy ground beneath our feet is the loamy dirt of Easter – the most fertile soil there is. We will be fecund! Amen.
Reverend William R. Grimbol has spent the past 30+ years helping people create and develop strong spiritual connections with loved ones and God. He is also a published author, with over a dozen books to his credit.