Nearly a foot of snow hit the Twin Cities metro area recently, keeping me snowbound with my work laptop and comfortable sweatpants for an entire day. Thick tufts of snow fell steadily amidst a grey March sky for hours making all of Minnesota yearn for summer barbeques and weekends at the lake more than ever. As my work day came to a close, so did the storm, and I found myself carefully walking the freshly plowed path around the nature preserve behind my apartment.
I left the stress of my day behind and navigated the icy trail in silence, pausing only to admire the regal evergreen trees lining my way. The full branches, heavy with fresh powder, were balking under the weight of the full day of snow.
As I continued my walk enjoying the rare moment of silence, I reflected on the image of those evergreen trees and my own Lenten journey, nearly halfway complete. Since ashes were placed on my forehead, so much figurative snow has been piling up in my life causing my own heart to bend under the pressure. Uncertainty. Grief. The busyness of life.
Lent is the season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, but it is also a time of preparation. And despite my vow to forgo soda for 40 days, I didn’t feel spiritually closer to Easter than before.
It wasn’t until this Tuesday’s evening walk that I really began my own Lenten journey. With each step, I lifted up every worry in prayer and released handfuls of imaginary snow as I went along.
For me, it took a peaceful walk to reconnect and refocus my heart. For you, it could be daily Mass, an extra hour in the adoration chapel or a long Saturday morning run. Lent is the time for us to examine our hearts in preparation for the resurrection.
Use the remaining weeks of Lent to identify the weights on your heart and release them one by one. The evergreen branches heavy with snow will soon thrive again as the warmth of spring sets in. We, too, will thrive through the miracle of Easter when Jesus melts all of our worries away.