Lenten fasting is usually linked to a habit that we would like to modify. Giving up alcohol, chocolates, cookies, are examples. Exercising, not purchasing on credit, or walking steps rather than taking elevators are proactive examples, as well. Every time you make a move to break an old habit and move forward into the future, you are created anew. The mystic, Pir Khan, analogies this phenomena to the mythical Phoenix reborn from the flames. Your new being emerges out of the fiery pit of life’s difficulties.
But we must be careful in thinking this new image of oneself is “the one” and is a new static and unchanging person. The mythical rebirthing process will continue to recur again and again. We are in a constant state of being reborn and changed. Just like the daffodils of spring we are always emerging anew. In this rebirthing, we must also remember to let go of the old self. We must not hang on to our old personality, just as a grapevine or olive tree needs pruning, we must let our decaying limbs drop away. Otherwise we will never change. We will go backward rather than evolving forward. The loss of the “old you” may be emotionally painful, but the realization that what is emerging is you and benefits the Universe, will overcome the pain.
The star pitcher when he first comes up may rely solely on his blazing fast ball, as the years go, his fastball begins to lose some of its speed. The great pitchers evolve adding control, curveballs, and sliders, to their repertoire of pitches. Those who continue to hold on to their fastball fade into retirement, while those who work on their game every year make it to the Hall of Fame. They may reminisce about their younger days and dream of “blowing one by,” but they let it go and strike the opponent out with a new part of their arsenal. During Lent we develop a new “pitch.” We work at developing ourselves as new players in the game of life.