I had all kinds of ideas for a theme this week, but I’m going to be honest, none of them felt authentic. Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or whatever your sipping preference is, and let’s have an honest chat.
Here’s where I’m at with this whole Lent 40-day observance project:
When I started out, I anticipated a deep, spiritual experience. I was ready to look at themes and think about how God was directing me through each of them. But as it often goes, once the marriage is in place, the passion wanes.
The funny thing about passion is how rooted it is in feelings. As long as those butterfly feelings, or in the case of a spiritual journey, that deep sense of communion and connection, we feel on track, centered, where we “should” be. Unfortunately, at least for me, feelings are flighty and deceptive. And right now, I don’t feel very spiritual.
During this Lent experience I have felt more off-track and off-balance than I have in a long time. I’m skipping out on my quiet times. I am being hammered with temptations and side-tracked with rampant emotions. I feel angry and hurt by some stuff life has thrown at me (I know, waa, waa, waa—but if I’m being honest, it is where I’m at). My creativity is in the pits of black sludge screaming for motivation. I feel like the more I strive to be elevated, the more I’m stuck with my soul’s feet firmly planted in plain ol’ terra firma muck.
Last night we had really weird weather, even for the Rocky Mountains. The wind was howling and thrashing the house. But instead of the night sky getting darker, it glowed with an eerie red color. Folks from around here claimed the ferocious westerly wind blew the red soil from Utah our way (sure, blame Utah). Whatever the reason, local friends on Facebook swore it was the Apocalypse. The wind ripped through our little valley well into the night. It wasn't pleasant.
But this morning, all was calm and bright again. The sky was a dazzling blue with puffy clouds. The sun warmed the earth, melting the blown snow and ice. Maybe last night's moody storm still haunted me, but all I wanted to do was stay holed up inside. But the sun insisted on shining, taunting me out of my lazy stupor. I put on my jogging shoes, snapped the leash on my son’s dog, and headed out for a jog. Jogging is never easy, I rarely want to go—OK, really, I never want to go—but I know once I'm out and, more specifically, once I am done, I'll be glad I made the effort. Sure enough, as my feet found their pace something wonderful began to happen. The tightness in my shoulders relaxed, the sun warmed my face and body. I finally looked up from my own feet to gaze at the snow-covered peaks, listened to the creek gurgling in its thaw, and felt my heart rate find its rhythm.
And isn’t that a bit like the spiritual journey?
I think this week I will dispense with the themes and striving. I need to quit trying to be creative or spiritual or loving or... whatever. A friend had this little saying on his Facebook page today:
You don’t need to have a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, let go, and trust the Lord and watch what happens.
Ah, yes. This week? I’m breathing and watching.