|40 Days to Freedom!|
We've all heard the old saying, "What a difference a day makes." There is even a song about it..."What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours; brought the sun and the flowers, where there used to be rain."
These are certainly words of truth in the fact that much change can occur in 24 hours. Sometimes it's a good thing, and sometimes...not so much. We've all experienced both positive and negative change in just one day. Imagine however, that by changing your habitual thoughts, you can assure a healthier, happier, more positive life experience. And if one day can make a difference, imagine the difference you can make in 40 days!
The lenten season is 40 days long...not counting Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. This is six weeks. The number 40 spiritually signifies a time of balanced completion. The Hebrew people spent 40 years in the wilderness prior to finding the Promised Land. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, tempted by the devil (a state of consciousness adverse to Divine Good) before starting his mission and ministry. As he exercised his spiritual strength over ego and the lower nature, he emerged prepared for the work ahead of him. If we want to follow Jesus' example of empowerment, we can go to our own wilderness during this lenten season, and face down our own "devils."
The season begins for many people with the "imposition of ashes" on the forehead. This symbolizes acknowledgement of the erroneous thoughts that block us from manifesting our inherent perfection. As Dr. Phil says, "You can't fix what you don't acknowledge."
Next there is the period of sacrifice; of fasting and abstenence. On the literal level, this is a period of developing self-discipline. On the spiritual level it is a period breaking down error ways of thinking, feeling, being and doing and building up a new way of being...spiritually empowered.
The deeper, spiritual meaning of the word "sacrifice" is not so much to "give up," but to make holy, and "sacrament" is an action of sacrifice we make.
There is something each of us could fast or abstain from for the next 40 days, resulting in emergence of new life by Easter Sunday. Would you like to give up stress-causing thoughts or behaviors? Unhealthy eating habits? A particularly problematic relationship or habit? Negative thinking? Victim-consciousness?
A primary intention of the Lenten season is purification. Typically I give up three types of things for Lent. Mind you Unity does not tell me I must...I do so because I understand the working of spiritual principle. I give up something to benefit my body, mind, and soul. This year I am giving up chocolate for my body, two hours daily dedicated to reading spiritual or inspirational material and journaling for my soul, and ... here's the biggie for me ... to benefit my mind...giving up checking email except for once in the morning and once in the evening. YIKES!
Again, you do not need to give anything up...unless you want to experience accelerated spiritual growth in the next 40 days. It is up to you!
Oh...since Lent starts tomorrow, that makes today Mardi Gras...Carnival, the party before the letting-go! Bring on the chocolate!!!
May you day be blessed, and better-than-average. RevAli