Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How can I do lent?

It's happened again. I'm not ready for lent. Maybe this is my own way of avoiding the darker part of life and a sign of my immaturity. Maybe it's because here in our house we're eagerly awaiting the birth of a new baby, and it feels more like Advent than lent. Who knows, but I do know that while Advent seems to be this amazingly fruitful spiritual time for me, lent has fallen flat for a few years now. I've gone through the motions, even at times attempted to do some sort of deeper spiritual practice, but I just haven't felt "present" to the season. As I look at members of our family, many of whom are going through difficult times physically or emotionally, I really get how the journey of lent must be a powerful identification with their own condition. But how does a young, happy, healthy woman in the prime of her life take on the lenten message in the same way?

So, this year, as in previous years, I'm going through the motions. This morning's Ash Wednesday service was a beginning, and this year there's an especially exciting culmination-- Ben is being confirmed at the Easter vigil at our church, and then this baby will be born very soon thereafter. I'm ready for the resurrection-- I get the celebration and the excitement. But I just don't quite get the suffering between now and then. I guess no amount of degrees will give you the amount of wisdom and insight that one acquires with age, experience, and suffering.


jenbavani said...

i say if you're not feeling lent, just do advent! i mean, lent is not so much "about" suffering as it is about pulling away from the distractions that are not God, right? coming out into the desert to meet Him? i think just setting aside special time to spend with God is a good enough lenten practice.

charlie and i are doing a cool little ritual involving the guidance of prayers from Sacred Space, a couple of songs, and a short reading and discussion. it's about 45 min worth, which is really hard to carve out -- i feel like the act of making that space, in and of itself, will help me focus on all the trappings of my life that i can let go of.

Adele Paz Collins said...

So true... thanks for the encouragement. Ben actually brought home a book of lenten devotions that I'm going to try to set aside some time daily to read/explore. I think that my life right now is so devoid of quiet time that just spending 10 minutes or whatever will help refocus my day.