Easter As A Child

I recall Easter as a child. I had fun gathering chocolate eggs and eating them. My mother prepared a special meal and I ate that too. Easter began and ended with that. Boredom set in quickly. I asked my mother, ‘What next?’ She said “go outside and play.” I did. I also finished my chocolate eggs. The 21st Century is catching up with my experience. There are now community Easter Egg hunts, family gatherings, picnics, play, laughter and a rite of spring. Just another way to pass yet another day. All bereft of religious significance. What next? Go outside and play?……………Life is okay. The 21st Century is infected with a general malaise of purpose. Life options and choices are limitless today. They are restricted only by one’s ability to stay awake. Personal judgement based on a standard of arbitrary likes and dislikes rule the command of choice. Everything is okay in our society so long as it is generally acceptable, average, mediocre. The Easter story says life is dismal when lived as ‘okay’, average, mediocre. Don’t be duped into living the mediocre life. I admit that the first hearing of the Christian Easter story sounds somewhat weird. There is mystery in the Easter story. Jesus’ body is placed in a tomb. The tomb is found empty and a cry is made that echoes throughout the centuries: “Christ is Risen.” “He is Risen indeed.” Hear this story each year and you seed the opportunity to appreciate the significance of life overcoming death. Life is not a rich experience when focused on the ‘average’ and mediocre. The distinction between the great and mediocre is not in what we think but how we think. The initial Christian story anticipated finding a body in a tomb. This is quite logical and acceptable. It is like finding Easter Eggs in an Easter Egg hunt and having a fine meal to boot!. The mature Christian story finds an empty tomb. This is NOT anticipated and is neither logical nor acceptable. This is like realizing that if my life is to be transformed something inside me must radically change. In other words, My way of thinking must be transformed. I must think differently. I must relate to my life experiences in a different way. I need to think differently. This is like dying and coming to life again. Anew. I recall attending a Presentation once on building a successful business. The Presentor was a successful multi Millionaire, philanthropist, a humble, accomplished leader. Everyone challenged his ideas as if there situations were unique and therefore different. He gently reminded the attendees that their way of thinking had gotten them into the problem situations they were in that day. They were there to learn how to think differently in their situations. ’Keep thinking the way you are thinking can only grant more of the same.’ Doing the same ‘better’ forever ultimately makes it worse. New thinking is required to grow into a new way of acting, behaving, doing life. Easter traditions are important. Traditions without faith teach no faith, Traditions without a story of hope teach no hope. Traditions without God ultimately teach meaninglessness. The Christian Easter story says life has exponential opportunity of experience, thought, accomplishment. It is all there for the grasping and understanding and the living. Our thinking has brought us where we are today. We want the good life. Would you prefer best over good or better? Mediocre says all the options are okay. Are we satisfied with the results? Answer ‘yes’ and you can check the ‘average’ box. The Easter story says: ‘Try again!’ God says go for best. This is where the road forks for the Christian believer and the world in general. The Easter story shows that God has a different way to interpret reality. Choose your superlative. The life of faith is richer, deeper, more profound, more fulfilling, more fun. The life of faith is not based on a selfish imposition of ourselves onto the world. The concept of God pushes our thinking so we reach higher, think broader, deeper, more profoundly. God pushes our thinking until we realize that the abundant life does not exist until we learn how to serve the other and find ourselves through the deep relationships with others. Find your neighbor. Love your neighbor and you will learn how to love yourself and to love God. God shows us how to think. We determine what to think. You can only accomplish this through a belief in God. The Easter story says this is true and wants us to believe it and say, “I know this to be true.”

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