Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Work Days and First Dates || A Lenten Post



I stopped writing things down in my bible study journal months ago. I stopped writing them down because I didn't want to have to work that hard when each day felt immensely exhausting on my emotions and psyche. In those days the thought of picking up a pen and putting it to paper seemed insurmountable -might as well have dared me to scale Mount Everest.

So, I did what was preservative and stopped.

Then Lent. 

Then Lent came and begged for devotion, for some semblance of communion between Him and me. I made a plan, picked a guide, and banged around in the half light of estrangement. I knew I'd picked an uphill battle. I knew I had hard work to put in and a challenge on my hands. I wondered if I would spend Lent enduring, fighting to sit and focus on the two pages I have to read in my devotional every day, biding time until I have to struggle through ''normal" bible study.

I've come down hard on myself in the last week. I see a fifty percent success rate in my daily meetings with Him and I hate the thought that I'm walking the fine line of failure. I'm struggling with the temptation of abandoning all efforts with the excuse that this thing called Faith is legalistic and damming. But I won't allow myself to settle in to that exhausting camp of Believing.

It's that black and white, right and wrong, up and down, holy and sinful system of seeing the world from which I've broken free. It's that hellfire and brimstone threat I no longer hear. It's the home where grace and mercy divorced from religion and rules but the fighting still happens over which plates belong to who. And I, no longer a young child blindly wishing for reunion, have walked away.

I'd like to say Lent has made me new. It hasn't. But it has made me willing to work.

So, I'm working out what it means to be in love with this process again. I'm attempting to fall head over heels for the work of being communicative with God. And, while it's still clumsy and nervous like a series of first dates, it's not painful anymore. We're asking each other the awkward questions about jobs and purpose and dreams. We're still learning when to talk and when to listen, sometimes picking at our cuticles in the long quiet spaces.

And, with this slow-pace to a love place, my standards have changed.

For today, I'm simply celebrating that we're no longer talking about the day's weather.

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