Jesus, Lent, and the Great Resignation

flexible work environment great resignation the wilderness

When Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, we were taught to believe that he went to fast and pray and get clear about his true calling.   I now believe that he also left his stable, predictable, secure job as a carpenter seeking a more flexible, diverse, and fulfilling work environment.

In that, he was like the millions among usyoung and old, rich and poor, black and white and all points in betweenwho are part of what is now being called The Great Resignation.”  People, for reasons still being studied and not yet fully understood, simply just dont want to do the same old jobs theyve been doing in the same old way.

According to studies, the number one thing they are seeking is a more flexible work environment and schedule, which allows them to be and feel productive wherever they may be.

I have a friend whose 23 year old daughter, hired a year ago at a major tech company, is now earning a healthy six figure salary and is on fast track for promotion.  Yet she is on the verge of quitting her job because they insist that she return to the office three days a week.  She doesnt want to move back to the city.  She likes her remote work right where she is.  And, as great as the money is, she is not sure she likes the 24/7 work demands of technology placed upon her tent loving, Yosemite trail hiking selfhood. 

Is she spoiled?  Or is she wise beyond her years?  She is looking around to see where her rootsher time, energy and talents, really should be planted.

If I were to point to a tree and ask you how tall it is, you might measure its height from the ground up and say About twenty two feet.”  Yet you would only be half right, because what is seen above ground is barely half the size of the actual tree itself.  The rootsthe incredible almost invisible cell splitting follicles, are moving tons of earth away every day to help establish what will be the foundation of the tree itselfwhich is only half seen by the human eye. 

I recently learned that even in winter roots are actively maintaining  the trees core temperature required for photosynthesisthat miraculous process that turns Light into Life. 

The Sufi Poet Rumi wrote:  

Dont think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.  

It is quiet, but the roots are down there,



In an app Im enjoying called Fabulous one meditation I read continued this theme of roots.

Boredom may look like a garden frozen in winter, but no, look deeper.  The seeds have been planted.  The dark earth is rich.  The branches which dont exist yet are deciding which way to grow.

In the book Oceanography of the Moonauthor Glenda Vanderah writes about a naturalist aunt holding up black soil to her young niece.  She tells her This soil contains the actual smell of timeof eroding mountains and stones pushed by glaciers and the lives of Everything that ever existed on earth.”  She holds the soil closer to her nieces nostrils and says This is the smell of eternity.  There are bits of stars in this soil, Riley.  Do you smell them? 

 Do we?

Im thinking of the Ashes to Ashes Dust to Dustritual of burialsand how in some Christian traditions the palm fronds used to celebrate the young Messiahs arrival are burned into ashes and spread on our foreheads during Lent to remind us of his impending deathand resurrection. 

Those of us still alive at this moment have endured a great winter.  A pandemic that brought the world to its knees has seemingly moved on.  Yet we are not all ready to rise in celebration.  We are not yet ready to return to who we once weredoing what we once did. 

Some of us are still stumbling out of the wilderness, perhaps with ashes still smeared across our foreheadreminders of the losses we have seen and suffered. And endured. 

And yet, in this wilderness, like Jesus, we have been reminded that even the soil beneath our feet is made from bits of stars..

and as we now take each considered step forward

May we pause-and listenand remain mindfulas our new branches

And our roots


Which way to grow.

Laurie Beth ~

P. S. If you are wondering yourself where your roots might be planted and which direction your branches might grow next, consider exploring a new Path with us.  The March Path Signature Course starts this Thursday March 31.  Use this link to learn more.