Preparing for something is a lot of work. Think about the last time you hosted a dinner– regardless of the occasion or how many people were coming. If you’re anything like me, the planning had many stages: invitations (formal or informal, they still require effort), setting aside time in an already-packed schedule, planning a menu, doing the shopping, prepping the food, cleaning the house…
|Beauty tips?!? You mean I have to try to look good, too??|
And don’t even get me started on Christmas. Rather than being a relaxing, contemplative time of the year, Advent is SO BUSY with travel-planning, gift-buying and at least for us– FINAL EXAMS… ughhhhhh… that I barely have time to appreciate the pretty purple… no wait– rose already!– oh no, back to purple… vestments.
It really should come as no surprise by now that Lent is also a season of “Busy.” As someone who has worked for the Church as a music minister, campus minister and all sorts of odd jobs in-between, my Lent is always a struggle to FIT. IN. ALL. THE. PREP. so that I can prepare myself and my community to truly “enjoy” Easter. I looked at my calendar today and my head is already spinning at the prayer services, musical rehearsals and classes I have coming up before Easter. This is a light year for us in terms of Lenten ministry and it’s still a little dizzying. Plus, I just realized that my hubby and I *still* need to find time to go to confession, too!
But before I freak out about how un-desert-like, un-restful and un-fulfilling this Lent seems to have been, I have to stop and think: “Fasting.” Fasting is when we give something good up in order to make room for a greater good. Fasting can mean abstaining from things, or it can mean giving up our time– in this case, any “free” time I was under the illusion I possessed. Perhaps this is as it should be. Maybe in this midst of all this outward busy-ness I can still find my “center of stillness surrounded by… chaos.”
Of course, this could also be the eye-opener I need that allows me to check myself and say “Slow down…” But for now I’m going to keep on “fasting,*” because that’s the only way I know. And I hope that as long as I offer up these busy times and ask God to bless them, too, that I will be ready to receive Him when Easter comes.
Do you find time to appreciate “stillness” during Lent?
How does God reach you through your Busy Times? How do you reach out to Him?
*Please tell me you got the pun, because I thought that was awesome.