The promise of a new year brings the hope of happier times ahead. The days get longer, the temperatures warmer, and Spring brings the birth of colts, calves and baby lambs. The honking chorus of geese heading north can be heard over the Mississippi flyway. Soon other birds will migrate using the Mississippi River to navigate their way to locations warming with the changes the new season brings. Daffodils and tulips will push through the black dirt reaching for the warming sunshine.
We, humans have made our resolutions with the promise of losing weight, getting to the gym more often and decluttering our homes. I confess I seem to have forgotten my good intentions in the passing months. My house looks like a war zone, and I don’t even want to talk about my lapses in the area of healthy living.
Christians around the world are entering a time of spiritual renewal and repentance. We enter into the Lenten season showing repentance through fasting, prayer, and sacrifice. The conversation in my family during this time of year includes declarations of what “I’m giving up for Lent”. For forty days, we abstain from certain foods and give up something/s we enjoy in recognition of Jesus Christ’s sacrifices in the desert.
For many, including myself, once Lent is over I return to my pre-Lenten routines. This year, I am thinking of this time as preparation for my personal rebirth. Lent should be a time of making myself a better “me”. If I only try to curb my bad habits during a period of forty days, I miss out on the opportunity to change over the next 325 days.
I’d like to think I’m strong enough to keep the promises I make to myself and others. Strong enough to recognize my failings and correct them. Strong enough to celebrate the opportunity to change and evolve as I grow older. I don’t want to become stagnant and fixed in the same routines. I want to experience this world, bring joy to others and help where I can.
Resolutions, repentance, and rebirth–I believe are the three steps needed for self-awareness, accountability and self-actualization. As an author, my characters go through a similar process over the course of their story. We expect them to overcome their obstacles, learn from their mistakes and grow as a person. It’s not unrealistic to expect the same from ourselves.
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