In grade school, my friends and I often read riddles. Clever or silly, we heard the answer, laughed, and groaned, “Of course”.
One riddle I remember is, “What is the only date of the year that gives a command?” I don’t recall my friends’ reaction, but I recall the sensible answer: “March 4th.”
March is the only month associated with movement. Named for the Roman god of war, Mars, March was the time of year to resume military campaigns that had been interrupted by winter. The soldiers advanced. Today, we don’t think of March that way, unless we see moving forward to advance in athletic competitions.
But spring weather in March ushers advancement and growth. Crocuses are early blooms, tulip and daffodil stems push through the soil, and trees bud. It’s an annual wake-up time. With daylight savings time, we advance to more light in the evenings.
Our surroundings “march forth” in color, light, and life. Yard work is active, and we choose seeds to plant according to our climate. As I sat in my sunroom this morning, I looked out at bare trees, knowing in a week or two, I’d see growth and color. My year is advancing.
March is a month of change. Spiritually, we prepare for Easter through directed readings and meditations. In this month of inspiration, we change our focus, grow closer to God, and lean into life. It’s an invitation to experience newness, step out, advance, and move along our life journey.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
Marching forth is putting one foot in front of the other.
What might that look like?
- Advancing in generosity: In spring cleaning projects and clearing clutter, donating items to charity
- Advancing in gratitude: Developing thankfulness for our surroundings so we begin to see the ordinary as spectacular
- Advancing in encouragement: Listening so I can acknowledge and affirm in a conversation so others bloom
- Advancing in intercession: Praying for others
- Advancing in light: Sharing time with others, not rushing to the next project on my list
- Advancing through reading scripture: Asking who God is in a passage and what is He saying to me.
- Advancing in life: Growing through deeper relationships with God and people.
“If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson
March: advancing in life and color, growing, blooming, and influencing.
Once a riddle, now an opportunity.
What’s your one small step to advance today?