My Spiritual Journey

Yesterday, was Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten Season for Christians worldwide.  Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran and various other denominations have a service where priest or pastors impose ashes in a form of a cross on parishioner’s foreheads.  The imposition of ashes mean many things but personally to me it is a reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Just in December Christians celebrated the birth of Christ.  And each year depending upon when Easter Sunday is determined we begin the celebration of Lent as early as February.  Quite simply Easter Sunday is determined to be the Sunday following the paschal full moon, which is the full moon that falls on or after the spring equinox.  Yes, I know it had me scratching my head too!

img_8905For me the holiest of times is Easter because it is the reason for which Jesus Christ was born.  That is correct he was born to ultimately die for our sins.  I know it is heady stuff but it is the foundation of the Christian faith.  After a three-year spiritual journey, I chose to convert to Lutheranism and joined a Lutheran church last October.  This was after much soul searching and attending various churches with my husband, friends and solo.  Ultimately what lead me to the Lutheran faith was their doctrine which follows my beliefs.

I will not get into the details but I will say that each of us had to have our own faith walk.  I know many people of varying faiths.  Those who are even atheists and agnostics.  I know people of Muslim faith, my husband is Catholic and yes I am Protestant and have always been.  I know Methodist and even Buddhist.  Part of what lead me to Lutheran faith is it embraces those who believe otherwise and does not choose to condemn.

Looping back to the point of this post, I feel most serene and focused during the Lenten Season.  It is a time to reflect on the sacrifice that was made for us by Jesus Christ.  I am not a theologian and will not get into a discussion of various faiths and their validity.  I will say for me personally repenting by sacrificing something or like my husband collecting change to give to a charity cleanses our spirit.

In addition to the closeness I feel to God.  I also reflect on the life of my late mother.  She also enjoyed this time of year.  My mom made angel wings for her church’s Easter program and they are still being used some six years later.  When I was a child we enjoyed dying eggs in all fun swirling colors.  And I always received a fun Easter basket. Shopping for a new dress and shiny shoes was an adventure.  My mom died a few days prior to Palm Sunday and I chose to have her funeral service on Good Friday of that year.  It seemed only fitting for a woman who was humble and a servant of God.

Finally, I am looking forward to see where this year’s Lenten journey leads me. I have decided that the book “The Purpose Driven Life” is not something I need to read.  For the last few years I have tried reading, thinking that I would get a big reveal of what my life should be.  But I realize that listening to God and following the direction he pushes me toward, I am living my purpose.  Though I have found a new church home my spiritual journey continues and will do so until my final breath.


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Guilt Tripping

Easter CrossesI’m feeling guilty today.  It is one of the holiest times of the year in Christian faith.  This weekend is the time when Christians remember the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  On Good Friday the day that commemorates the crucifixion of Christ, I attended the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus performance.

During the start of the week, it wasn’t my plan to not attend Good Friday services.  As planned, I did attend Maundy (Holy) Thursday church services; where the Last Supper is remembered.  During the Last Supper is when Jesus tells of the coming betrayal by one of the twelve disciples in fulfillment of the scriptures.

Tuesday, I learned there would be an elephant walk when the circus came to my town.  Since it was recently announced that elephants would be phased out of circus acts, this would potentially be one of the last elephant walks.  I made the decision to attend and witness the walk, however, the trains arrived early and I missed seeing my favorite large mammal.

Circus ElephantDisappointedly, I drove home and then decided I should end my boycott of the circus.  It turned out the best date for me and my husband to attend was Friday.  I wrestled with the guilt but my love of elephants, acrobats, and clowns (yes clowns) won out.  In addition my mother’s funeral was on a Good Friday.  Here in the South funerals can take place 365 days of the year.  Seeing the circus on Good Friday made me not focus on missing my mom.

There are those who will read this and not understand.  I can’t help those individuals; I can only speak to people who are spiritually aware.  True religion and spirituality are not necessarily the same but for me they go hand in hand.  My belief in Jesus Christ and him dying for my salvation are important to me.  I am a believer of religious freedom and respect others beliefs.  However, as for me, mine, and my household we choose to love the Lord Jesus Christ.  Hence, I still feel just a little bit guilty.


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