A thought about life and Lent

Spiritually speaking, I would have to put myself in the “loves to pause and consider” category. I know many people who have had occaision to observe my life might even laugh out loud about that idea because, frankly, it’s a rather high-velocity spectacle in which I dwell. But, inside, I crave solitary time in worship and reflection and prayer. It is what fuels me, and I’m honestly running low… but not by neglect.

Yes, the “warning light” is on, but it isn’t the result of not stopping for fuel. Daily prayer practices, daily time in the Word, daily adoration of our beautiful Lord… these are part of life. I just find myself craving more, quite possibly because life is so full.

What does this have to do with Lent? In years past I have confessed far and wide that I am a person who loves Lent, that season I’ve come to understand as one of renewed discipline, of stepping aside to consider our Savior’s incarnate, undeserved suffering for our redemption. Something “other” from my like consideration of the Sunday Eucharist precisely because the focus is not on the Resurrection, but on the atoning suffering. It is always a “wow”… that holy awe that causes the beings in the heavenlies to fall on their faces crying “Holy, Holy, Holy!” and those who encounter God on Earth to shine with His presence or be overcome and fall faint.

This Lenten season has found me struggling under the pace of life with a sick-but-recovering child, a busy family life of teenagers, travel, friendships & fellowship. Add that to on-going professional transition involving a real shift in my “hows and whys” application compared to parish-level ministry, and still exploring how to be most effective in direct and resource ministry at this new place. I’m always up for a challenge, but I must confess that this one is surely over-sized for me. That’s always been a good thing, though.

I believe that all of this combines to draw me heavily into the weakness God desires of his disciples… to that hungry, thirsty, tired place where the LORD can show himself strong. That is my moment-by-moment prayer, you know, that God is working in me his perfecting will, and that I would surrender all to it. All.

I’ve struggled to put a word to what “my Lenten discipline” has been (is?), but I think, perhaps, it is surrender. As I’ve been writing I’ve been listening to a playlist of worship songs assembled sometime ago (and listed in the sidebar to the right) based on their adoration of and surrender to God, and as I completed the first sentence of this paragraph, the bridge of Leeland’s song “Yes You Have” began to play: This is all for You, yes, this is all for You, You’re the King of the World. That pretty much says it all for me right now, so I’ll just end with a prayerful “Amen.”

PS – if you’d like to hear “Yes You Have” it is available for your free listening edification (along with several other of their songs) on Leeland’s myspace page.

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