This morning I woke up wondering how we’ll survive as a nation, no matter who wins the next presidential election. It’s Advent. However, my mind went back to Lent, and a March 2017 post about what I was giving up for Lent.
As I see it, our nation is being tested yet again. We’ve been tested many times. It seems that whatever happened or didn’t happen back then, despite our best intentions, contributes now to our growing state of dis-union.
So how will we survive not just the next election, but the year leading up to it? Political strategies and post-election plans are important. Still, they aren’t magic wands that can solve our national problems.
The most important things are what we carry in our hearts, and what we have chosen to give up.
So I’m drawn back to what I gave up for Lent. The challenge isn’t any easier now than it was then. I’m to give up desires that have haunted me all my life. Not because this will solve personal or national problems, but because this frees me to behave differently this time around. Even though I’m terrified about the consequences.
So here they are, in the form of a prayer litany. Still staring me in the face daily. How willing am I to bring these strange gifts and lay them down before a newborn baby? Not just once, but as many times as necessary.
I let go my desire for security and survival.
I let go my desire for esteem and affection.
I let go my desire for power and control.
I let go my desire to change the situation.
Quoted by Cynthia Bourgeault in Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, p. 147 (Cowley Publications 2004)
Do I like doing this? No. It does, however, make space for me to take risks. The kind that make my heart pound because I’m not in control of what happens next.
With hope, and thanks for listening,
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 7 December 2019
Sunrise at Acadia National Park, Maine, USA; found at pinterest.com