Dust & doubt.
Last month I was in my hometown, gathering at sunrise to celebrate Easter in the park. We worshipped there in a familiar place, as tangled up in my childhood as the church building itself. The story of the Resurrection and the early morning breeze were one and the same. We punctuated the sermon with yawns and amens.
There was no transcendent moment. The service didn't always feel like poetry and the sky was cloudier than an art director would have chosen. People squirmed to get comfortable in their folding chairs, babies cried. The words were familiar, well-worn bits of truth.
And it was good.
I'm quick to expect things to be a certain way, to be more magical or meaningful or new than they often are. Holidays, especially ones like Easter, tend to let me down because I want them to be as intense and valuable as the day we’re remembering. I count the days until the next life change or milestone, which always seems like a good use of my time until the day passes without fanfare.
Because the thing about these capitalized calendar days is that they are ordinary days. They are days when I’m sleepy and get dirt in my shoes. There are groceries to buy and gas tanks to fill and friends to see. Time does not stop for our occasions, even the best of them. These are often days that, no matter how early we wake up or where we gather, will still feel earthbound and mundane.
But maybe that's the point.
Maybe we celebrate not to recreate the magic and the beauty of the Resurrection but to remind us of what’s yet to come. We mark our calendars, taking notes of endings and beginnings that seem small until they’ve added up to a lifetime. These days aren’t the pinnacles of life; they are important steps on our journey to something greater.
This life can lack luster. It can let us down. We get dirt between our toes and hold grudges and have trouble falling asleep. But beyond this, there is hope.
We hold on to the hope that whether we are cutting cake, singing hymns, or doing chores, our days are adding up to the significance we ache for. That the beauty we sing of and celebrate will become our reality.
These days of dust and doubt are leading us to Glory.