A Seeking Pilgrim Considers Easter and Good Friday
While my faith has faltered and wavered over the years, I have always considered Good Friday and Easter as touchstones for Christianity’s connection with a life lived. And, now that I think of it, I’ll include Palm Sunday in that trinity of events.
What resonates for me is how those three events can mirror life, an ordinary life. I go back to that wonderful line from Jersey Boys: “the bad times never last; neither do the good times.” So that week that Christians celebrate every year speaks to me of the rhythm of life. From the hosannas of Palm Sunday, entering to cheers, but riding on an ass – its symbolism not unnoticed, and a short number of days later, crucified. Well, haven’t we all experienced that in one way or another. Feeling on top of the world, applauded, appreciated, never noticing that we are riding on an ass, or being one. And then being flummoxed, when “a week later,” we are pilloried, or crucified, figuratively one would hope. We never see it coming, do we? I’ve been there, more than once. The second time I had the life experience to realize that “these things happen” to all of us. It didn’t lessen the pain of the moment, but the knowledge that “the bad times never last” helped me see it through.
And then comes Easter, supposedly the ultimate “gotcha” to those who scoffed. Well, maybe …. or maybe not. But for those of us normal folks, perhaps we can interpret that event in a way that incorporates the truisms of all the great faiths – that there is a cycle to life, that if we come to an acceptance of our experience, a contentment with what life has shown us, that our spirit, after all, can surmount defeat.
Walking a labyrinth can bring this concept even closer. A path appears to lead us directly to the center. Aha, we think. Victory! Then, as in life, the path takes an unexpected turn, directs us away from our coveted destination, the one that we are sure will make all the difference for us. But we keep on walking, and thinking, and walking.
Well, you know the end of the story. For it is our ultimate destination to find the center, though not necessarily on the path that we would have chosen.
Call it fate; call it life. Some might call it God. As for me, I’m still a pilgrim, searching.
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