A Little Child Will Lead Them by Stephania Jackson

I failed Lent this year. I started out very determined and I’ve never done so poorly. I’ve become acutely aware of my shortcomings, which is a mostly a daily fail. Wow, I now work at Chapel and just knew this would be my best lent yet. I don’t like thinking how poorly I did this year. My goal was to not get so frustrated when other drivers didn’t drive the way I thought they should when I was behind the wheel. I totally blew it. I’ve never had so many pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, those giant Ford trucks, Porches, BMWs, Hondas, and those “I hope I get where I’m going cars” get in MY way. Holy Moly! Teslas never made me cuss or get frustrated, probably because I love them and pine for one.

The first day, I did ok in the morning but the afternoon was definitely a fail. I worked on being mindful and embracing the moments of life but that only worked inside those mornings I chose to sit quietly in Chapel with no other being beside the wasps. I marveled at the joy of being able to do so in the morning, to look at the beauty, to listen to the birds sing, to feel the silence and sheer joy of getting to do that in the morning, middle of the day or late evening. It was so easy to practice mindfulness there or sitting in the sun or my favorite chair at home, or looking out of that wonderful pane of glass in my office door. I even took a mindfulness course as part of Lent. I’d tried many times before and finally had the opportunity to take a class during Lent.

I successfully learned how to foster mindfulness while working with Chapel Children. Oh how, I love our children. I’m so fortunate to experience those moments in the Atrium. I especially love the new Toddler Atrium. I’m amazed each time by the things the children say in the Atria. The lesson was The Last Supper and a child proclaimed there were really only 11 disciples because Judas didn’t count because he was mean to Jesus. One of the Catechist shared her experience about a child placing all the disciples and gathering every figurine available in all the CGS works as close as possible around the Last Supper table. The child explained that all the friends wanted to be with Jesus. That brought and still does bring tears to my eyes. That’s the wonder and awe we get to witness in the Atria.

Back to Lent, I did read more scripture and pondered the meaning during this Lent and fully believe that’s going to stick going forward not just at church or preparing the Lessons for the Children. I have to really study and spend a lot of prep time because our children ask questions from the far side of things I can’t begin to imagine, such as “Is Lent that bad clothes disease?” They definitely put a smile on my face each time we are in the Atria and at Children’s Chapel. Speaking of which, I’m so excited that we’re building a Chapel just for Children. I can hardly wait for that roof to rise. It’s going to be so great.

Looking back, maybe I didn’t fail Lent all together. That’s exactly what life is, a mixture of coming and going towards the Light. I’ve become more aware of moments otherwise missed as I rush to complete the next thing on time. But those interruptions are minutes to be embraced because that’s the journey of being in the moment, being really engaged. Just do the next “Right Thing” is not impossible and gives me hope that even when I fall short, I’m not done yet. The important thing is never to give up on ourselves, to learn to get over ourselves, to love ourselves and to quit beating up on ourselves. The hardest person to love is ourselves. It’s a step at a time process.

Happy Easter!