Sunday, March 20, 2011

Of Springtime and Spring Cleaning



Did you see it?  Last night there was a "Super Moon"  - a rare 14% larger view of the full moon.  I missed it.  Had no idea.  But when I awoke before dawn I stepped onto the deck to see a full moon haloed in glowing fog.  This picture is terrible but does reveal the eerie glow surrounding the moon. 





  

Interesting that this lunar event occurred the night before the first day of Spring.  March 20, 2011 is the date of the vernal equinox.  On this date the sun shines directly on the equator resulting in equal day and night for most of the earth.  Spring is a season of transition between winter and summer and so today we officially step away from our season of darkened evenings and wan sunlight and step into the season of warmth and ever-increasing daylight.



I read that during this phase the Earth is increasing its tilt toward the sun.  I was struck by the thought that during the season of lent we are all slowly increasing our tilt toward the Lord.  We are transitioning from spiritual aridity to spiritual fertility.  We are tilling the soil our the soul through prayer, preparing for the seeds of faith to be planted more deeply into well-nourished dirt.  Here this seed has the chance to germinate, sprout and take root.

As with all new things in life, this refreshing season also brings its share of distress.  Popping buds release eye-watering pollens.  April showers produce terrible tornadoes.  Newly planted seeds require constant vigilance through watering and weeding.  Open windows bring a layer of dust and grime and usher in the season of Spring Cleaning.

And this is also the way of the spiritual life.  


We increase our prayer time and suddenly see how riddled our private thoughts are with weeds.  We try to give our belongings away freely and are confronted with our own selfishness - wanting to cling to our possessions rather than to give them away.  Becoming more attuned to life for Christ begins to separate us from old habits, to set us apart and open us up for ridicule and resentment from others.

Despite these uncomfortable moments we are called by God and this season to do our spiritual spring cleaning.  We cannot enjoy the bloom without the pollen or grow closer to Christ without growing apart from old ways.  


Yet it is not in vain, for if we continue to press forth from the winter dormancy of our faith we will burst into the beautiful bloom of holy living which is refreshing to all who witness it.  The ones we love are blessed by the fragrance of our deeper peacefulness, patience and attempts at unconditional love.  We become one flower in a Springtime bouquet of Christ's followers.





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