02 March 2017

Discipline of Lent

My sin not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross
And I bear it no more
Praise the Lord!

Sometimes I reach the end of the day, and I am worn. The struggles of a day can feel like being sandpapered. Sometimes I feel that what I have to give is not enough. My efforts are in vain. The cog in the wheel mentality lingers in my mind. I love my job and feel utterly thankful. These days still come. I am content and feel joyful in my quiet life. These days still come.

Entering the season of Lent reminds me to center myself again in the disciplines of prayer, meditating, devotion, and stillness. It comes at the perfect time, not to drain me, but to fill me with love. Sometimes to gain a heart of love we must give up some part that we have been hanging onto. A part we need to let go of.

It starts with Ash Wednesday. A day that begins and proceeds like any other. I am busy. I am seeking. I am learning. I am observing. After a long day, I go into the sanctuary and quiet my soul as I reflect on my own sins. Every pew is packed. There are others who need this time of reflection as well. It is comforting to be surrounded by them, many sitting close to me who I know share in this with me.

God, in His redeeming grace used the time to mend and bring about meaningful, thoughtful musings. The chorus of all our voices filled up the space to the high arched ceiling. God reached down into the dark places of my soul that needed to receive His light. 

My soul has quieted. My worries have diminished. They will come back, to be sure, but with prayer and stillness, this season will teach me to depend on Him.

I go home as the night quiets and stills, and I want to reflect all evening. Other things just don't seem as important. I make some tea and try to let the words of "It is Well with My Soul" sink in.

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