Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent Begins...

I just read my Ash Wednesday post from last year as a reminder of where I was at spiritually at that time. It seems I was quite eager to enter Lent as my father had just died. A year later and there are days when it feels like years since he died and then there are some where it's still too fresh and close to the surface.  

Last Lent I was looking for a place to grieve and heading into the desert with Jesus for 40 days was a journey I was more than willing to embark upon, but this year I am obsessed with Spring - new life is popping up all around and after the darkest winter I can ever remember, I'm not ready for Lent. I'd like to move directly on to Easter but this is not the way of it.

This is one of the great parts of following a liturgical calendar.  IT'S NOT ABOUT ME! Lent is here if I'm ready or not and so I will set out on this journey towards the cross.  I have to remind myself about every 30 seconds that I wasn't created to follow my own whims but to answer a call - one that I have been ignoring for most of this past year. 

So this may be a difficult 40 days as far as my remaining in my own comfort zone goes, but it's time to step out of my own way and get into some "action" verbs such as "seek", "listen", "nourish" and "forgive."

Last night as last year's palms were burned for today's ashes, Elizabeth+ read the following prayer.  It's her adaptation of William Arthur Ward's lenten prayer and it's one that I invite you to add your own line to:

Fasting and Feasting

Fast from worry; Feast on trust.
Fast from words that hurt; Feast on words that heal.
Fast from anger; Feast on patience.
Fast from discontent; Feast on thanksgiving.
Fast from gossip; Feast on the courage to go to the source for more accurate understanding.
Fast from discouragement; Feast on hope.
Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from suspicion; Feast on truth.
Fast from fear; Feast on love for stangers.
Fast from judging others; Feast on the Christ within them.
Fast from focus on differences; Feast on the love that unites us all.

(Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting, gift us with your presence so we can be a gift to others in carrying out your work.  Amen.)

Here's my line:  Fast from talking; Feast on listening.


Terrelou said...

Fast from fast, feast on slow-going.

Kate said...

Amen, sister!

Thanks for sharing this.