More on the desert theme which is central to Lent.
The original desert experience was that of the Hebrew slaves who escaped from Egypt. But Egypt has always been understood as more than just a place. Indeed the word for “Egypt” in Hebrew – Mitzraim – means “a narrow place.” So “going out from Egypt” can mean going from a narrow place where we are stuck, from repeating patterns of behaviour, from a sense of ourselves as weak or defective, to a wider sense, a place where we are free. The desert is a symbol for the space to face what holds us back, which we often think cannot be changed and will keep us stuck forever:
The only permanent thing about our behaviour patterns
is our belief that they are so