The Home Stretch…

We’re in the home stretch of Lent now, the final weeks before the last push of Holy Week and the dawn of Pascha.

A certain amount of the novelty and energy of the season has worn off and the askesis of the time becomes more like work. At the same time a certain sense of peace and purpose emerges. It doesn’t take long, some experts says 21 days, to establish a habit and its amazing how a person can adjust to new ways of eating and carrying on with life in a short time.

Perhaps that is one of the wisdoms of Lent, the understanding that we can and do adjust and we’re not doomed to continue to live as the world demands. In a few short dedicated weeks we can start to be something different, to see the world differently, and to live differently and our system actually reacts quite nicely.

In fact some people have a certain kind of let down after Pascha when the fasting is done and life returns to its old paces. The sense of closeness with God can disappear and the peaceful flow that comes with a life directed towards the things of the spirit and the good of others fades away. The hope is that Lent gives us a sample of what can be and that having once tasted this goodness we would continue on.

I try to imagine such a world, a world where the pace of things was set by the richness of faith. Not some rigind theocratic thing where the call to prayer goes out and all are commanded to obey but rather a world where people choose to reorient their existence towards the presence of God. A world where the taste of joy and holiness that come with a good Lent flow in and through all that is like a melody of unearthly beauty. A world where the Cherubic Hymn describes, in one way or another, all of life.

Realistically this will not be our lot, even in our own lives, until Christ returns but such a hope helps us through as we come into the home stretch of Lent, and always.

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