Friday, March 31, 2006

Lenten Diary: Weeks Three & Four

Day 28: I am not much of a daily person. I’m good at occasional, a whiz at sporadic, but daily gets me every time. Outside of the activities associated with basic personal hygiene, I can think of few things I manage to accomplish on a daily basis. I do not like this about myself. Thus, the fact that I fell off the “daily diary” wagon back on Day 18 did not come as much of a surprise, but I am disappointed in my lack of consistency all the same. Yes, my primary commitment was to a radio fast and not to daily commentary on that experience, but I know that the lack of commentary belies a lack of attention to the exercise, and I am disheartened by my ephemeral attention span.

Day 25: Since abandoning the radio in my car, I’ve noticed that I tolerate—and sometimes even welcome—silence in other places as well…my office, my apartment, my conversations. I am glad to observe that noise, of whatever variety, now seems to me an interruption of the silence, as opposed to patches of silence being awkward and uncomfortable interludes amidst incessant ear candy.

This morning I attended church with a friend; her church is part of the Anglican Mission in America, and as such its services are liturgical. My friend mentioned that one of the things she appreciates about the services is that extended moments of silence are built in—there is time allowed for reflection and prayer. I had thought (quite ignorantly) that having each part of the service spelled out in the worship folder might contribute to a sense of hurriedness, as in, come on, it’s all there, let’s get through it. But instead I found that having a common “script” seemed to give everyone a chance to breathe deep, as in, hey, there’s no wondering about what comes next, so let’s just take this moment and be still. The moments of silence were not just time to “prepare our hearts for worship;” the moments of silence were part of the community’s act of worship.

Day 23: Today marks the halfway point. It has come quickly. I am actually more astounded that 23 days of this month have passed than I am that I have passed those 23 days in "vehicular silence." April is almost here already, and I feel the fool.

Day 17: I’m writing today’s entry by the light of a golden sunset…which feels quite odd, actually, because I drove through a bit of a snow storm on the way home. The meteorological juxtaposition got me thinking about seasons, and how what is welcomed in one (i.e. big fluffy flakes swirling to the ground on Christmas Eve) is scorned in another (i.e. “Huh, some Spring, grumble, grumble…) even though it’s the same thing. It’s all a matter of expectations, I suppose: when we get what we want when we want it, we receive it gladly. When we get that same thing at a time when we want something else, the proffered item arouses indifference at best, disgust at worst. But it’s the same thing.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this. I guess I’m just raising the question, are there “good things” that I am receiving with indifference or scorn right now because I am expecting other things?

Day 16: Lent is everywhere! If you are of the abandoning meat variety and are concerned about what to do should you have a sudden urge to run for the border, do not fret. Taco Bell has a handy poster featuring tasty meatless menu options that will not interfere with your Lenten observances.

Day 15: I’ve adopted Isaiah 30:15-16a, 18 as my anthem for this season: This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee!” …Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

1 comment:

Bethany Veerman said...

I'm honored to be mentioned in your blog :) And I really appreciated reading your thoughts. Thanks!