Friday, March 18, 2011

Second Week of Lent

Into the second week of Lent, I find myself distracted from the time necessary to really do the important self-examination necessary for real repentance.  A continued battle with severe allergic response, which exacerbates the constant problem of projects unfinished, has very much affected me plans. That, actually, I suspect, is what is making this Lenten journey even more enlightening.

I have learned that a quick "I'm sorry" or a "I'll fix this later" does absolutely nothing to bring about real transformation.  For me, it is a question of facing squarely those things, and I sometimes call them "my demons," that routinely separate me from kingdom of heaven living.

The problem with calling them "my demons" is the tendency to see them as outside me, when I very much believe they are inside me, they are an integral part of me. A Lenten season that pushes me closer to those demons also gives me greater insight into my soul.  

Ultimately, the goal is not to eradicate the demons, but to love them into transformation.  

I grew up in a theological world that suggested I needed to eradicate the demons.  That I needed to leave parts of myself behind.  Ultimately, that led to an internal dissonance where I knew that I had said that I had "left them at the altar" but I also knew they were still there.  That's called "lying."  And I got stuck.

I personally am far better off to speak real truth:  these are my demons.  They are part of me.  And as I learn to love them, see them as integral to me, and embrace them in light-filled and exposing love, then I begin the process of transforming them.

Hiding from them or pretending they have been left behind just doesn't seem to do the trick.  They always come back, often seven times more powerful than before.

It is in the struggle that I sense the Holy Presence of God, with me, in me, around me, above me, before me, beside me, under me.  Together, we seek a resurrection life, whole and holy.

My lifelong journey.

1 comment:

Angie Hammond said...

Christy, All I can say is that I understand where you are coming from with something upsetting your plans.
And that my friend is my point in this comment.
They were your plans not necessarily God's plans for your time.

As I focused on what happened to me over my spring break and this week which was the week after, I learned something. It came to me today as I was visiting with a dear friend as we happily spent time together going to estate sales and just venting to each other about our lives.

I explained to my friend that my break had consisted of just being at home and not doing much of anything. Yes I was in a bit of pain from the car accident, but I was recovering and with no car to drive that meant that I spent the time at home resting. She remarked to me that maybe the rest is what I had needed and the time spent with my mom was also what was needed.

In the end, things worked out in a very unexpected way. My mom is doing well, I have a new car and I got the mental and physical rest needed over spring break. Not exactly what I had planned for the last two weeks.

Which brings me back to what you say in this post about being distracted from the time necessary to really do the important self-examination necessary for real repentance.

I say to you that pushing yourself because you believe something has to be done is not always the right way. I believe that God uses what happens to us to bring us closer to him.

Perhaps your severe allergic response is not meant to be a distraction but instead is a reminder of what suffering really is and what it was for Jesus. I say to you that it is not the time spent in self examination that is what is important. It is more important to embrace the circumstances relax and realize that in God's time things will work themselves out.

I admit that it took me the better part of a week to get this into my head, but once I stopped trying to push myself and what I wanted then I got better and so did all of the projects and things I needed done.

So, as Lent progresses, and you do your self examination as you call it. My advise which was given to me by you when I needed it. Step back from your need to find fault with yourself and just allow God to forgive you. Simply put allow God to heal you by taking the time to allow him to do so. He will take care of the rest in his time. We both know this. It is just our nature to let the things inside us (our demons) convince us otherwise.

It is my prayer for you that you will just stop fretting over Lent and soul searching and just let God love you and then finally love yourself enough to really do it.