I want to apologize for not writing on here for so long, I’ve currently been suffering from a pretty intense case of writer’s block. Or perhaps I just have so much going on in my head that I can’t put any of it down in words. This snow, however unwelcome it was, has allowed me more time to myself and has forced me to slow down.
I think we’re in an interesting time of waiting (how appropriate for the Lenten season). We’re waiting for spring, we’re waiting for warmth, for the time when we can dig in the dirt and plant our vegetables, but it also seems as though we’re waiting until we can do something. We have finally put to paper our venture project and we’ve begun discussing it and dreaming about it, and, yet, it’s snowing outside! Winter has an interesting effect on humans, for most of it we don’t want to do anything, we want to stay in our houses and read books and watch the cold weather through the window. But I’m now at the point where I am so ready to not sit and wait anymore, I want to go! We’ve spent so much time talking and planning that I can’t stand waiting any longer. This is why I’ve been unable to be as productive as I would like–ironic, I know–but I have a huge fear of losing my momentum if I sit with my thoughts too long. They quickly become stale and unoriginal the longer they stagnate in my mind or in conversation, so everything I have done recently has had an air of haste and impatience, as if I have to hang onto motivation by frantically distracting myself. How appropriate that I am able realize all of this during Holy Week, the culmination of a time of anticipation and preparation. Easter is a time of new beginnings, a time where we allow God to be resurrected in us. Lent is a time of preparing for this, there is nothing we can do to participate in the resurrection except to be ready for it, embrace it, and act. What is the purpose of resurrection if we do nothing with it? This winter has been the most obvious representation of the spirit of Lent I’ve ever experienced (of course, I didn’t realize it until just now). It is not enough to say that we are “preparing our hearts for Christ’s return” and then continue on in our comfortable lifestyles except for the one luxury we chose to give up for Lent. Lent has become safe, it has become a word without meaning and a time of passive acknowledgement. We have lost the anticipation of the coming of Christ, half the time I don’t even know what that means. But I’m learning how important anticipation and expectation of the goodness I am called to be a part of is to my faith. There’s a lot of church jargon thrown around at Lent and Easter that sounds good but that I have no idea what it actually means for my life. But I think I’m slowly beginning to understand some of it: our lives must consist of times of waiting and preparing, and once we have taken time to do that we must act, we must participate. Jesus didn’t come back and fix everything, Jesus came back and told us to go and do. We have to learn how to die to ourselves and pursue goodness and truth, no matter where that takes us. We can’t do so without reflection and prayer, and we can’t only pray and reflect and wait or nothing will happen. This season is a season of balance, of learning the importance of both waiting and acting, of understanding our own shortcomings as well as believing in our God-given abilities. So this Holy Week I will focus on the anticipation I feel to get up and go, to participate in creation and manifest the goodness that God longs for in our world and that exists in unexpected places.
Interestingly, our gardening project is forcing us to understand and be familiar with this cycle of waiting and acting. It’s everywhere in nature: winter forces the land to lie fallow and heal, animals hibernate, trees go dormant; a time of rest is needed for growth. It is amazing how much we can learn from nature if we take the time to observe it.