A Season of Dying
The beautiful opening in chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a season for everything; a time to be born and a time to die. During Lent we are invited to think about the season of dying. I know death can be an uncomfortable subject. In our American culture we value the ideal of perpetual youth. We’re not always quite sure how to deal with death very well. I commonly see people who avoid talking about death as though they were avoiding the plague. Sometimes I meet people obsessing about death to the point where they have stopped living. I believe that neither of these extremes are helpful. Yet, I do think when we come to the awareness that things die -- that we die, we begin to live differently. We begin to savor moments, even moments that seem mundane. We relish the present for we realize it is but a blip in the grand scheme of life. In some sense when we become honest about death we begin to experience the freedom to live well, here and now. I think the life and death of Jesus can teach us about living in the present and surrendering to the gift of now. The people I know who recognize the different seasons of life are some of the most free people I know. The way of Jesus welcomes us into this type of freedom.