If you read music, you know that it is seldom composed of a never-ending stream of notes. There are rests, spaces between. The spaces are not places to stop. They are places to rest, to breathe, to soak in and soak up what has happened, and to prepare oneself for the rest of the song. The point is that they are part of the music. Journeys are no different. We need rest. We need breathing room. We need to cease journeying and look back at where we’ve been. That is part of the journey.
This journey that we call the Season of Lent has become more and more important to me over the past few years. I have learned that I need to intentionally do something during or give up something. I need to change what is usual and routine about my life. I need to insert a rest and just take a breath. Some of us give something up and some of us add something on. I don’t think it matters which and I don’t think it matters what. We just need to do something different. I think that each of us has to do what is best for our life and our own way of living. Maybe a good rule to use when figuring that out is to lose something that ensnares or contains you, that keeps you safe and comfortable and dependent, or gain something that gives you freedom, that pushes your boundaries and gives you life. What is it that contains you? What is it that gives you freedom?
This year I’ve chosen to write each day on this blog as my Lenten discipline. About one-third of this season is behind us, so it is time for our “first rest”. It is time to look back at our journey. I love to write. It truly does give me freedom; it truly does give me life. This time of intentional, sometimes “ritualistic” writing (as in when I don’t have time–I’m sure you can recognize those!) has given me a new perspective. It has made me look at things differently. Ordinary things like missing exits and seeing funny little handmade signs on the backs of pianos have become new journeys through life. Extraordinary occurrences like Supermoons have become glimpses of the unknown, glimpses of what God has in store. And those difficult things that are going on in our world–tsunamis and bombings and wars–have somehow been made anew into life-giving phenomena. This journey is somewhat planned and, yet, part of the plan is to be open to the way the Spirit moves. That’s what it’s all about! (But I do wish that the Spirit would not inspire Maynard quite so much. I’m running out of Bibles!)
So, on this Lenten journey, take your first rest. Look around. What is it that contains you? What is it that gives you freedom?
Grace and Peace,