A very glorious and happy spring, everybody!
As we now move into the energy and majesty of the spring, this time falls on two very important holidays for members of the Jewish and Christian faiths: Passover and Easter. Both are ripe with messages related to freedom, renewal, resurgence, rebirth, and transformation. And both stories derive their magnificence due to the intervention of the Divine; the Israelites are able to survive the plagues and gain freedom from Egypt and Jesus transcends death and absolves the world’s sins, both thanks to the intervention and grace of God.
What I always have found so incredible about both of these stories is not so much the presence of God’s miracles or his incredible power, but rather the reaction and resistance of those who are bearing witness to these events. In the Exodus story, it takes Moses 7 days of conversation with God (via the Burning Bush) before he finally agrees to go back into Egypt, and then only when God allows Aaron to serve as Moses’s voice. And once Moses returns to Egypt, not only does Pharaoh ignore the wonders of God, but also so do the Israelites. They doubt Moses event after witnessing such wonders, and after crossing the Red Sea they immediately return to a state of sin and doubt and disbelief. In the Easter story, Jesus encounters doubt and disbelief throughout this entire ministry in spite of his many miracles and divine acts. Even Peter claims to not know Jesus after his arrest, and denies his previous association as one of his Disciples.
So what do we take away from these two ancient and profound stories? Again, what I find so incredible is no matter how grand or raw or absolutely indescribable God’s miracles are, his agents on Earth are still met with disbelief and doubt. What does this tell us about the nature of humanity? What I take away from these two stories is that it is very, very hard to open ourselves up to the presence and power of the Divine. Or, perhaps to expand it into a broader aspect of time, it is a very difficult thing to try and change our belief systems or our actions, regardless of what we are being presented with to the contrary. How many times do we find ourselves literally or figuratively praying for some change in our life (Please help me find a better job…Please help me get healthier…Please help me be free of this bad habit…etc.) and when presented with the solution we become doubtful or
I don’t mean this in a judgmental or critical way, as I know I have been very guilty of this time and time again in my own life. Rather, I mean this as a reflection on a pattern that we as a species appear to be repeating over and over again. And why do we repeat this pattern of praying for a miracle but turning our backs when our prayers appear to have been answered? Because it is hard to change!!! Very hard! To truly change the way that the Divine asks us to change is a transformation from our most fundamental and core levels and flow outward into all other areas of our lives. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and even a small change in one aspect of an individual’s life can have dramatic effects on all areas of life.
So at this time of year when so many people around me are celebrating Passover and Easter, what I try to take away from these spiritual traditions is 1) True change is difficult to accept into our lives, and should not be undertaken lightly. Before I ask for a change in my life, either from a Divine or Earthly source, am I truly prepared to accept that change into my life? 2) Am I fully in the present moment so that when a miracle occurs, or a powerful shift or change is about to occur in my life, will I be able to even recognize its presence or power? Do I allow the distractions of the world to keep me from seeing the might and intervention of the Divine in my life, or do I stay diligent in staying mindful and in the present moment so I am aware enough see this change coming my way?
As we all now move into Spring and move through these two lovely spiritual holidays, whether we celebrate them or not, there is so much we can take away from the messages around us and enrich our own lives. With the rebirth and resurgence of life happening throughout all of nature, this is a ripe and perfect time to follow the example of the trees and flowers and undergo our own rebirth and renewal. But as we do, are we ready for what shifts and changes may come?