I am having a hard time believing it is already March, and an even tougher time with the fact that today is Ash Wednesday, which means Easter is coming. A mere 40 days from now. As we endure the third snow day of the week from school, it is tough to believe that spring is on the horizon. Hard to believe as the white snow blinds me when I glance out the window.
And yet, I do believe. I do know that the earth will continue its rotation, that the spring equinox is coming soon, that those dang polar vortices will eventually lose the battle of the seasons. I know, because I have faith in what I have seen, in what I have experienced. I have faith, because of what my life has led me to know.
Faith is what leads me now, what guides me, what provides manna in the desert, the water for my soul. With Lent beginning today, I am seeking more this season. More, amidst less.
I grew up Catholic, surrounded by Catholics, so the season of Lent was observed by all those around me. We compared notes on who was giving up what, making sure that everyone was equally “suffering.” As a child, and someone with an insatiable sweet tooth, I would give up candy every year. Every single year. I usually failed miserably abstaining from it, especially when the Catholic school kids did their fundraiser and sold jellybeans. Jellybeans! Every single year. During Lent. Torture, pure torture.
Growing up, Lent had been about giving up something, sacrificing a pleasure in exchange for a prayer. But I can honestly say that I hadn’t really thought about the significance, hadn’t really made an effort in the sacrifice. It was just something you had to do, part of growing up Catholic.
This year, I am not giving up anything. Rather, I am giving in…giving in to the urge to spend time wrestling with God. Giving in an hour a day to be still, to listen, to read the Word, and then to write. Write what flows from my heart, write what is laid upon my soul. Giving in to the experience of quiet joy.
40 days. 40 days of listening, and responding. Reading and writing.
40 days to nurture the creativity that stirs within….and 40 days to pour out what the Creator stirs up.
40 days of reflecting on the wonder, the splendor, the glory, the sacrifice. 40 days of giving in to the movement of the Spirit, rather than the giving up of anything in particular.
Giving in to making space in my heart and mind. Making space for what the Lord whispers to my soul. A space to experience a greater knowing of the One who knows me. Making space for more of Him.
More of Him, less of me. Less of my longings, my desires. Less of the day-to-day clutter of my mind.
Less of me, more of Him.
This will be my journey over the next 40 days. Wanting more, giving in, not giving up.