Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday - or - What I Learned During Lent

so, lent is done. and i didn't talk about it much here, but for lent, i gave up the internet & email from 9:30am til 7:30pm every day. the hope was that in breaking this (minor) addiction, i would be able to be more present to my family, my life, and to God. it's true that, particularly in the evenings, i was a far more engaged mom & wife, something i loved, and am going to try to hold on to. it was funny during the day to notice how much the internet is integral to my life - be it finding directions, making plans, or getting a recipe. but the biggest thing i learned is this: i am a champion procrastinator. originally, i wanted to use a good chunk of my time during lent to find ways to connect with God in a deeper and more relational way. well, i kept my lenten internet fast, but the chances i had for quiet and reflection, times that could have been prayerful or relational with just me and God (who i profess to love, by the way) were easily laid aside in favor of napping, laundry, walking, groceries, novels, napping, vacuuming, kitchen cleaning and napping. this is not something i'm proud of - rather it is something i can't ignore.

there's this time in the new testament when Jesus looks at all the outward acts of sacrifice and "doing the right thing" of the very religious people and he says, "go learn what this means - i want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices". the do's and don'ts of lent, while not without merit, did not lead me into deeper engagement with God - they lead me to lots of free time where my choices didn't necessarily match up to my spoken desires. and actions speak louder than words, right? this may not seem like a big deal to you, but it's a big deal to me. i very easily get caught up in thinking my sacrifices are making God happy and giving me the inside track, as it were. it's indicting to realize how proud i must seem to Him, parading my small sacrifices around like golden calves. humbling. in the words of david, "i have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me." (ps119:176)


Sarah said...

Well posted...Im struggling now with undoing that sense of trying to get the inside track and trying to let go of the idea that I could possibly earn anything. But my brain keeps insidiously picking the notion back up while Im not paying attention. Stoopid brain.

Jamie said...

Ohhh Rachel. I could have written that myself. Very, very well written. (If I've not ever directly told you so, forgive me, but you are an amazing writer).

Please continue to share your revelations as you seek this path. I want to know :) Remember that God is more faithful to us than we will ever be.

Marilyn said...

You know Rae, the point of disciplines of the spirt is not to succeed - but to have a mirror to show us ourselves. To fail is indeed the purpose. So you have done marvelously. I am proud of you for this and so many other reasons.

Heather said...

I profess to be lots of things that I can only maintain for a day, or an hour. (um, like 'a blogger'- ha!)

I suppose that's the beauty of being human, no? ;)

trucking right along,