This time last year, I wrote this post reflecting the seasons of life, especially the dark, scary and unknown. Today, I am thinking, "How interesting I wrote this a year ago." It's been a year and I still feel stuck in the season of unknown. This is the season for us to pause and reflect as Jesus journeys through the wilderness. This is the season for giving up things to help us practice the hard. I don't know if I'm ahead of the game or delayed, but I don't need any more practice in recognizing the hard. I don't need anymore help finding Jesus in the wilderness. So, I've decided, Lent is not for me. I am not participating. Not this year.
Jesus has been with me in the wilderness for a while. I enjoy the adventure of the wilderness and respect the opportunity of growth, but I want out. Is it over yet? Have I passed the test? Do I have it all figured out now? Wait, why am I in this wilderness? I'm so tired. As I write those questions, I'm wondering if Jesus maybe asked those same questions himself. He probably didn't because he's perfection. Jesus is divine, but was a human being after all, so I have hope he questioned God in the midst of the wilderness. At least a little.
In the church, we use colors to identify seasons. The color purple signifies the season of Lent (Easter). Blue is used during Advent (Christmas). Green represents "Ordinary Time" (whatever that's supposed to mean). The color yellow has become a constant in the last few weeks. I can't decide if it is a coincidence or the Divine trying to tell me something. The color yellow is probably my least favorite color on the color wheel, yet lately it seems to jump out at me more than others. Its one of those colors that takes over in a scheme, which is likely why it is not favorite. Yet lately, when I see it I think sunshine, joy and happiness. Colors represent seasons in the church, but out in the world they represent feelings and emotions. The color yellow represents happiness, joy, optimism, and enthusiasm. On the negative side, it represents cowardice, fear and impatience. Again, interesting.
"Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return." Well. That's just depressing. Where's the hope? Where's the optimism? As I had the ashes placed on my forehead and as we walked to dinner afterward, I felt like an impostor. I don't want to be reminded "to dust I shall return." This isn't the message I need to receive. I want God to tell me I've got it all figured out. I want God to say, "Hey! You made it through the wilderness! Congratulations!" I want the rainbow and the dove and the color yellow. Where is the hope? Where is the optimism?
That is the relentless wilderness. When we're in the midst of the wilderness, it happens around us until we become a part of it. I'm still trying to embrace and become a part it. The yellow pops of life remind me of my own fear, impatience and cowardice. The yellow in the midst of the dark and unknown reminds me, I am not alone.