Sunday, March 24, 2013

Where Has Lent Gone?

The beginning of Holy just doesn't seem possible. Where has Lent gone?

I had plans for Boo and I to observe a holy Lent, to fast, to gain great spiritual insights, to renew our lives. Those were the plans. Life intervened. We have fasted from meat on Fridays. Because of Boo's health and age, he's not required to fast. He wanted to do so. We've prayed the Rosary almost daily. Boo has been determined to pray the “whole prayer” not just a decade or two. More often than not, he's succeeded. We've prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet several times weekly. I'd intended to read one or two books and participate in an online retreat.
That got pushed to the side. Instead, Boo and I are hastily preparing to move closer to my Mother.  We're pulling up stakes here and planting them in a small town.  We're (read I'm) throwing away, donating, packing and cleaning.  Well, not as much cleaning as I should, but I'm working on that.   

This wasn't the Lent I planned. At this point in the season, I planned to be refreshed, ready for the observance of the final week of Jesus' life, ready for renewal and joy. Instead, I'm rushing through decluttering and packing. I'm frustrated by the number of things I've yet to complete, plans that still aren't finalized. So much yet undone.

Admittedly, with all my frantic decluttering, I do feel less encumbered by things. I have repeatedly found myself praying as I worked. Still, this wasn't the way I planned for things to be. I don't have time to sit and reflect. I haven't made great strides spiritually. This isn't where I planned to be.

And yet...when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, did He feel ready? He'd loved, taught, worked and lived with his apostles. Did He experience any of the frustration, any of the sense of incompleteness that I'm feeling?

Maybe this isn't such a bad place to be spiritually. I've made small, very small strides. Sometimes I pray without thinking as I work. Sometimes I set realistic goals for part of the day. Not completely new achievements. Not perfect achievements. Progress nonetheless.

I think I've considered Lent as a journey to the final destination of Easter. And it is. It's just that Easter isn't the end for us. I still have to live out my faith. I still have to work towards being the person God is calling me to be. I'm not finished. I think I really envisioned myself taking a well deserved spiritual break after Easter. You know, kind of rest on my heels and admire the awesome spiritual advancements I'd made while my life resumed it normal course.

Instead, I find myself wanting to press on, to continue my small strides. At least, that's my take on it this morning.

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