Mud season

Daily Reading for June 18 • Bernard Mizeki, Catechist and Martyr in Rhodesia, 1896

The example of Jesus, and the experience of mud season, remind me of a harsher truth: to be reborn, we first must die. The way to Jerusalem lies through mud. Dying, like mud, can take many forms, but every death, in the sense I mean, is a letting go. We let go of ambition, of pride, of ego. We let go of relationships, of perfect health, of loved ones who go before us to their own deaths. We let go of insisting that the world be a certain way. Letting go of any of these things can seem the failure of every design, the loss of every cherished hope. But in letting them go, we may also let go of fear, let go our white-knuckled grip on a life that never seems to meet our expectation, let go our anguished hold on smaller selves our spirits have outgrown. We may feel at times that we have let go of life itself, only to find ourselves in a new one, freer, roomier, more joyful than we could have imagined. All of us, young and old, soon and late, find our way to the mud, the season of our terrible and certain joy. Let us bring to it all the spirit we can muster.

From Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life by Philip Simmons (Bantam Books, 2000).

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