It’s an active word. It takes practice, effort. I heard the command over and over in my daughter’s ballet class. After a pirouette, the teacher would call out: “Pause... hold... RESIST.”
After a delay, a hanging in the air, the dancers would place their heel gently on the floor and come to a rest. Every turn, every lunge, every grand plie was followed by that same instruction: “Pause... hold... RESIST.”
Resist the pull of gravity for just a second.
Resist the urge to land where you normally land.
Resist. It’s a command that runs through scripture, from the midwives who resisted Pharaoh to Jesus who resisted temptation.
It’s a helpful word for Lent, which begins today. Resist your typical response. Resist yelling at the kids when you are frustrated. Resist withdrawing when you are depressed and eating when you are stressed.
The season of Lent asks: What do you need to resist? Consumption? Taking on too much? Being too hard on yourself? Hopelessness? Apathy? Turning a blind eye to the violence in Syria and Venezuela?
Resist. It takes forty days, and then some.
In the 1700s, Marie Durand was imprisoned in France in the Tower of Constance for thirty-eight years for practicing her faith. During her long imprisonment, she used her finger to carve the French word “resiste” into a stone block.
It takes a long time to carve stone with your finger. So it is with Lent.
If our goal is to be different people come Easter Sunday than we are on Ash Wednesday, we must take time, step back, and evaluate our patterns. It will take active effort, intentional practice, and a supportive community.
If you want to land somewhere different?
Pause... hold... RESIST.
A big SALT "Thank You!" to Rev. Holly McKissick, pastor of Peace Christian Church (UCC) for this strong and thoughtful words! And, thanks to the Duke University Archives for posting this strong and beautiful dancer.