"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Making Room

"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return." Those were the solemn words spoken over me and others last week at the Ash Wednesday service as gray ashes were applied in cross form to each one's forehead. How somber. How bleak. How depressive to be reminded of one's mortality. But as I shared with the women in Bible study this week, we cannot fully experience the power and hope of Resurrection morning without first entering into the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ash Wednesday, which can be traced back to the 3rd Century, is the beginning of Lent, a period of 40 days (excluding Sundays) that lead up to Easter. When I was younger, I remember those days as a time for spring cleaning -- or at least the time when I could look forward to throwing off my shoes and going barefoot. And for my grandfather, Gra, it signaled the time for preparing the soil for his huge and yielding garden. But as I've grown older and more in tune with the cycle of life, I've come to realize that Lent is more than just a house cleaning or a preparation of soil, it's more about a spiritual spring-cleaning and the preparation of a different kind of soil; that of the heart. Oh, yes, I've been told, "Well, we ought to be doing that every day." And I couldn't agree more. But I also admit, that while I do a daily house cleaning, more often known as keeping things "picked up," there are those "seasons" when I really get in those closets and drawers and do a thorough purging and reorganization. When those baseboards and floors get a heavy duty mopping and not just a sweeping. So I look at Lent like that. A time for "intentionality." A time for renewal and recommitment; for throwing out the old which needs to be discarded, and for growing in new directions.

And so each morning, during these days, often before the sun comes up, I'm finding my way in the dark -- with a cup of coffee in my hand, of course -- to the back bedroom of the house to a very old rocking chair. I switch on the little lamp on the side table and there I enter into a time of prayer and devotion and silence with the One who entered into a time of passion for me. It's an uncommon practice for me because not only is the place of meeting new, but because, and I'm ashamed to say this, the computer was my normal routine for the morning. So I guess one could say I'm fasting the computer and all those "important" emails that surely came in while I was sleeping.

But here's the truth. This "fasting" has opened a new space for God in me. Yes, for the first few days, I was distracted by my hunger pains. And why shouldn't I have been? I was so very accustomed to satisfying that craving first thing each morning. But what I'm finding out is that it was a false appetite and the Lord's sweetness and presence is what truly brings fulfillment.

O God, create in me more room for Thee.

Just an ordinary moment...


Lisa said...

Hello, I was just Blog-Hopping and ran across your blog. Very Nice!

Be Well...

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charlotte said...

Out of curiosity I click "next blog" at the top of one of my blogs and it brought me here. Looks like we have a lot in common.

Kris said...

hiya! found your wonderful inspiration via the "next blog" feature! So gald I did! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
I'll be back!