It wasn’t too long ago that I would wake up on Easter mornings eager to see what that big, creepy bunny left for me in a basket. My mom would even leave clues for us to find out where they were hidden. It would always included a variety of different items like candy, typically a movie or two, and other goodies. My Easter mornings were nothing more than sweets, pastel colors, family pictures, and a new DVD. Granted, at the end of the day, I was still a kid. I had no grasp of what the day means. But even when I got older, I still really had no real idea. It was just another holiday.
If you don’t go to church regularly or don’t even really buy into the whole religion thing, that’s fine. Believe me, it is. I feel that way sometimes too and I’m being serious. If you do go to church regularly and you feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t have it all together, then believe me when I say that you aren’t alone. I’d be a liar if I said I wake up every day and feel the warming embrace of God wrap around me. I don’t. Not every day, at least. In fact, there was a long stretch in my short life when I never felt it. I don’t know if that makes me a bad Christian, or not. That seems to be the idea these days. It’s a bad stigma, really. I want you to know that you aren’t alone. In fact, there’s more people like you than you realize.
We don’t like to admit that our relationship with the divine is less than what we want it to be. And when we do admit it, we always add some justification or something like “I’m really working on it though”. It’s a game and we all play it.
A few years back, I was able to go to Israel. Walk where He walked. It was an experience impossible to put into words. I don’t posses the writing ability that it would require. But, I was able to go to two places it is expected that Jesus is buried. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden Tomb. That is what the featured photo for this post is. It was a quaint place. Very quiet and calming, unlike the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which is quite crowded and noisy. The point is that, whether you believe in a physical resurrection, like I do, or not, there’s hope for all of us to die to what we were and be brought back again in a new and beautiful way. That’s what I believe.
What Easter means to me is hope. Hope that I’m not the only one who feels this way. Hope that God continues to work on me. Hope that I don’t have to be perfect and don’t even have to pretend like I am. Hope that I can be that new and beautiful thing in this world. But to be that thing, I have to grow into a closer relationship with him.
That’s why I’m initiating a challenge. It’s nothing new or groundbreaking but hopefully it speaks to you. Here’s the challenge: for 31 days, I want us to read, pray, and write about our relationship with the divine. It doesn’t have to be anything sophisticated, well thought out, or polished. It needs to be raw, and it needs to be honest. We seem to lack that these days; honesty with each other and honesty with ourselves. Even if you don’t have a website, we all use social media. I want us to take our thoughts, prayers, and words and use it to challenge ourselves, and encourage others. Put it out there. We have a community of people around us and we hardly utilize it. Let’s be raw. Let’s be bold. Let’s embrace the fact that we are human and what that actually means.
I’ll have another post up in the next few days talking about how it will all work.
In the meantime, prepare and spread the word. I’m calling this #MY31PRAYERS.
Happy Easter, everyone.
Breathe in. Breathe out.