Falling Into Growth
This Lent is real. A challenge. A week in, and I'm deep in the desert dehydrated. I have experienced fall number one as my intention to write on Monday was nonexistent. Lost from words, I sat down several times to write and nothing. The effort was there, but I came up empty. I tried, but all I was creating was a babbling brook overflowing with nonsense, trying to make sense of this liturgical season. Last year, I pushed through the challenging moments. The desert didn't feel as dry as it does this year. So I went gentle on myself the other day. Closing my notebook, I walked myself to bed early and thought, maybe this is good. I planned to enter Lent as a beginner and someone who claims to know nothing, figuring it out as she goes. This day was hard, but I'll drum of the faith that tomorrow will be better.
Yesterday, I reflected on all the forms of dust I saw during the first week of Lent. First, it was the showering of soft snow dust right before the gritty, dark ashes of Ash Wednesday. The amount of dust I vacuumed up in my house on Saturday was incredible. I hear the echo of my mom's words every time I clean and Swiffer the floors. I can't figure out where all this dust comes from! Then yesterday, I walked beside the transforming snow dust. As blackened curbside snow melted into streams of water, the sun was brilliant. The birds sang from the barren treetops. The air was warmer on my cheeks. The winter desert was thawing and flirting with the elements of springtime. A tiny particle of hope lifted my heart.
There has been a lot of dust this past week. And yes, I've fallen. But don't falls bring growth? If I didn't fall, then maybe I wouldn't pause, turn, reflect and try again. Funny. I am reminded by what I heard on Ash Wednesday from my friend, Pastor Christina. She reminded me that I have forty days to accomplish three things.
Turn. Meditate on areas of my life I need to turn from to turn toward Christ.
Repent. Reflect on my behaviors and use my gifts with God-given intention.
Believe. Believe that I am forgiven by God and move more deeply in my faith.
It's only day eight. Oh, wait—day seven if we don't count Sundays. Maybe Lent isn't going so bad after all. The sun is shining. I must go.