Popping Religion

As kids, we were obliged to give up "pop" for Lent. I took a legalistic approach. Every chance I got, I'd belly up to the soda fountain at Watts' drugstore and order a vanilla phosphate. Adhering to the letter rather than the spirit of the law, I rationalized that the blend of flavored corn syrup and soda water was most definitely not pop because it wasn't packaged in a container with a top to pop. I could earnestly say I had fulfilled my religious commitment. Clearly, I experienced little in the way of spiritual preparation.
Unity focuses on the spiritual rather than the religious: "To observe Lent according to the spirit rather than the letter," writes Georgiana Tree West in the preface to the classic Unity book, Keep a True Lent, "we must fast from criticism and condemnation and feast in brotherly love; fast from false beliefs in sickness and weakness and feast on the truth of God's omnipresent, perfect life; fast from false beliefs in lack and limitation and feast on the truth of God's bountiful good will."
 
Spiritually speaking, Lent is not about giving up some habit or luxury, or taking on a service or commitment, though those can be powerful mindfulness practices. It's about preparing our hearts and minds for a fuller realization of our divinity. Whether you choose to formally observe Lent this year or not, I encourage you to be open to its spiritual intent. As you establish a discipline for dismissing fearful, lack-based thoughts and affirm the limitless power of God's infinite good, you free spirit's creative energy to express more fully in your life and in the world.
Cheers!
 
Rev. Kurt