The best journeys are the ones that actually take us somewhere. Forget the whole "It's not about the destination but the journey" nonsense. Have you ever been stuck in gridlock? Try being stalled in line at the Canadian border crossing, as you inhale noxious fumes from dozens of RVs, wilting under the summer sun, all while contemplating divorce because your husband told you to pick the one line that hasn't moved in over an hour. I watched the woman behind us in the rear view mirror go through the stages of a meltdown. First she cursed to herself. Then she began throwing her arms up in the air. This eventually gave way to pounding the steering wheel.
By the time Micah and I actually made it into Ontario we didn't feel like celebrating. Instead, we found the nearest gas station, bought Subway sandwiches and Canada's cult flavor potato chips, the "All Dressed," and then hit the road again. Shortly thereafter a meatball fell out of my sandwich and onto my lap and we had to pull over so I could attempt to wash the red sauce off my clothes and the car seat using our limited quantity of bottled water. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Canada."
What's the point of going on a journey if you never get anywhere? This is how I feel about the season of Lent. The Christian church likes to call the forty days leading up to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection a "Lenten journey." The faithful are asked to give up something, or take on a spiritual practice, as a way of mirroring Jesus' faithful obedience to God. Then Jesus dies, lilies and trumpet players make an appearance on Easter, and everyone resumes life as normal. In the end, it feels like most of the time is spent ruminating on death and sacrifice and very little time on journeying toward resurrection.
This year I've determined to actually go on a journey and I'd like you to come with me. Instead of ruminating on Jesus' death (I spent over a decade doing that and quite literally did not get anywhere), I'm reflecting on the small deaths we die everyday as a result of toxic, self-flagellating thoughts. You know the ones. They tell you whatever it is you desire can't possibly happen because you're not talented enough, or don't have enough money, or your friend Evan has already done it so how could you? Clarissa Pinkola Estés asks, "What needs to die?" The answer is our toxic, self-flagellating thoughts.
To that end, I'm proposing we write our dreams down everyday for forty days. It may be a single dream you write over and over in a journal. It could be five dreams, or three pages of dreams. There is no right way, there is only the way that works for you. Our destination is resurrection, the kind that comes when we exchange our dead-end thoughts for a limitless horizon. So, join me as we write down our dreams for the next forty days, committing to a truer, more radiant vision for our lives.