This year we are doing a curriculum with the children called “Holidays and Holy Days”. I picked this program because I had noticed that the calendar hanging on my wall was still on March, even though it was July! With the pandemic, time just got … mushy. How do we mark the passage of time? Well, in the Before Times I was so busy I had to keep a big wall calendar that felt like Mission Control. Now, I was sort of glad to lose the busy running around but I still needed something to look forward to. I needed holidays, and movie nights, and other markers of time.
I figured I wasn’t alone in this, so a program that brings to our awareness the cycle of the year in many different cultures and religions might help us understand time in a different way.
Yesterday was the beginning of Lent, which for Catholics and many Protestants is an experience of time that brings them closer to God. For 40 days (plus 6 Sundays), they fast and pray and reflect on the story of Jesus. It’s a spiritual practice that I admire, a way of marking a time apart fro
m the everyday common time and using that time for intentional spiritual purposes.
We UU’s don’t have this sort of practice, but we could create one of our own that would help us relate to time in a new way. Perhaps something as simple as setting aside Thursday evenings for attending the Spiritual Practices at OUUC.
Or perhaps honoring the sabbath as a day of rest. I take Wednesdays as my sabbath day, and my sabbath “rules” are: no driving, no capitalism, no feeling busy. It’s delightful, and it helps keep me grounded in time as well.
Another practice is to take yourself on a mini-retreat. Set aside time to reflect and take the big picture in. I have a friend who does this once a month, spending a day reviewing their long-term goals and how well they are progressing toward them.
Or maybe you could engage with UULent! If you are on facebook, look for UU Lent. There is a theme each day of Lent to reflect on and take a photo to post. Check it out!