Holy Week follows the trajectory of Jesus' last week from life through death to resurrection. The story is filled with pivotal choices, perhaps none more poignant than Pilate's dilemma. Should he release Jesus whom he believes to be innocent? Or should he give in to the crowd's thirst for blood and avoid a riot? In the midst of his quandary, Pilate asks Jesus, "What is truth?" Pilate then chooses his truth. He hands Jesus over to be crucified.
Pilate's choice is understandable. He was afraid. I've been reflecting on the fearful part of me. It yearns for control, wants approval, wants to get things right, and wants to be acknowledged as "a good boy". Beneath all that is really a yearning to be loved.
In meditation last week, I focused of being loved until I believed it. How would you live if you deeply believed that you are loved unconditionally with a love that can never be taken away?
Only when I am rooted in being loved, does my compulsive grasping for control start to shift. When there’s (ultimately) nothing to fix within me, I feel less compulsion to fix everyone and everything around me.
It feels like a death as I choose to notice but not live by those familiar voices that strive for control, perfection, approval and being "right". But on the heels of this "death" can come a resurrection. Once the illusions have been debunked, I stand empty, cleared of what I believed to be true but now know to be false. In that space, I have three choices:
- Return to the familiar story lines because I fear being without them
- Judge myself andy my story lines, which only reinforces my bondage
- Choose to believe a new story that is life-giving
To believe in my own beloved-ness - to wholeheartedly put my trust in it - is a brave, revolutionary choice. It's a movement from fear to love through death to resurrection. It is The Way to eternal life.
While beliefs do have tentacles in the unconscious, they can be transformed. A new belief is cultivated by daily choices that align with that belief. Even when we don't feel the truth of a new belief, we act as if it were true until the new belief takes root. To believe is literally to "live by".
What is your truth? What will you live by? There is choice in every moment. Will you choose fear or love?
A Prayer for Holy Week: God, I choose to believe that I am innately, completely, and irrevocably loved. Help my unbelief! When the fear-based stories arise, help me see them for the illusions that they are and let them go with compassion. Help me live by the truth that I am loved. Amen.