Thresholds

March 22, 2021

Many faith traditions and spiritual disciplines offer a time of self-examination, a time of self-reflection to assess where we have been, where we are going, what we can release, and what we can carry forward.  For Christians, this season is called Lent; the same opportunity goes by other names in other traditions.  As I reflect on this season, I see it as a threshold time.  We are poised at the doorframe, preparing to step away from, to something else.

Each of us encounters numerous threshold experiences in our lives, beginning with our birth when we cross from the womb. In a way, each threshold is like a small reincarnation because when we cross, we are no longer exactly who we were before.  Some people remain stuck, never quite gaining the courage to let go what needs to be left behind, never quite gaining the courage to trust the future. The world is less for that.

At this time of Lent, with two weeks left, I think of the major threshold Jesus Christ crossed when he came down the mountain after revealing his divinity to some of his followers and, we are told, “set his face for Jerusalem.”  He understood what he was leaving behind.  And, he knew what lay ahead.  Here, today, is our own opportunity to reflect on our own thresholds.

  • As the pandemic moves from lockdown to freedom, at which threshold are you standing?
  • If you step across it, what will you leave behind?
  • How do you envision what or where you are about to enter?
  • What might be preventing you from crossing?
  • What gift would enable you to make the crossing?

I have my thresholds to cross, as I am sure you have yours.  Like a bird leaving its place of safety to take flight, it can be a frightening moment but one that is also exciting.  If we don’t cross, we don’t grow, we don’t change, we don’t gift the world with who we long to be.  The gift for which we all can ask is grace—the grace to try, and if we fail, to try again; the grace to believe in ourselves; the grace to know we don’t cross these thresholds alone.  Blessings to you in your stepping through. ~ Rosemary

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But to do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
–John O’Donohue