"Resurrections:" Session No. 7 -- readings from chapter 7, “Mud Season"

Opening words:

I’ve learned that, as much as we seek to avoid the mud in our lives, we need the mud for what grows from it.  Every mud season is a kind of death, with resurrection lying on the other side.  In the mud painting my daughter did at school, the great brown swath across the bottom two-thirds of the paper is topped with tiny, bright flowers.  The image suggests causality—mud makes flowers—but also necessity: no mud, no flowers.  As I enter my various mud seasons, I’ve learned to ask: what death is this?  Or what is it within me that needs to die?  And out of this death, what resurrection will come?

Preparation (distribute pencils and paper or note cards):

1.  List some of the things in your life -- hopes, ideals, abilities, people -- you have had to let go of or say goodbye to.

2.  Briefly describe a "mud season" you've been through -- a time when something, small or large, went wrong, or when you suffered some misfortune.


1.  What is your usual response to the "muddy" parts of life -- to mishap, misfortune, or disappointment? 

2.  What gets you through your personal "mud seasons"?

3.  Have you ever found that going through a "mud season" has changed you somehow?  In what way?

4.  Have you ever experienced what you might call a "resurrection"?  What had to die in order for the resurrection to take place?

5.  What are the "dead" or "muddy" places in your life now?

6.  What possibilities for resurrection do you see in your life now?  What might that new life be like?

Closing words:

The example of Jesus, and the experience of mud season, remind me of a harsh truth: to be reborn, we first must die.  The way to Jerusalem lies through mud.  Dying, like mud, can take many forms, but every death, in the sense I mean, is a letting go.  We let go of ambition, of pride, of ego.  We let go of relationships, of perfect health, of loved ones who go before us to their own deaths.  We let go of insisting that the world be a certain way.  Letting go of any of these things can seem the failure of every design, the loss of every cherished hope.  But in letting them go, we may also let go fear, let go our white-knuckled grip on a life that never seems to meet our expectations, let go our anguished hold on smaller selves our spirits have outgrown.  We may feel at times that we have let go of life itself, only to find ourselves in a new one, freer, roomier, more joyful than we could have imagined.