Yes, Lent is about waiting. It's a journey meant for reflection. But reflection does not keep us only in the past or only in the future. Reflection happens now...
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice! 2 Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. 8 It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
When I saw that this was the passage for today's entry, I realized that this time last year, the 3rd day of Lent, I was writing on the same pericope. Similarly, I was in a unit of CPE. While I was just really starting a unit last year, this year I am about to finish a unit — my second of three. This week, as Lent began, I found myself waiting again. Waiting to lose another pound. Waiting for my sleep schedule to balance out. Waiting to see one of my dearest girlfriends from seminary this weekend.
But my waiting goes beyond that this year. I find myself waiting to apply for jobs, waiting to decide what my next steps after residency will be, waiting to see my husband again. I keep waiting for the ball to drop, for the rug to be pulled out from under me. But it hasn't... it hasn't. I'm here, and I'm okay.
We never live; we are always in the expectation of living ― Voltaire
As I finished reading Wayne Muller's Legacy of the Heart and began reading A Life of Being, Doing, and Having Enough, I realized just how much of my life I've spent waiting for the future only to deprive myself of the present. I'm almost always in my head, thinking about something, longing for something. The struggle to rest in the present moment is a persistent and pervasive one for me, and for so many of us. We have to think 2 hours, 8 hours, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years ahead. Now doesn't exist... unless we will it so.
Here in Lent, we know what is coming. We know there will be a Maundy Thursday, a Good Friday, and an Easter morning. We know there will be water pouring over feet, bread and wine, darkness, sadness, and finally a resurrection, a reminder of what has happened, and what will happen again.
As we wait for Easter, for the Risen Christ to remind us of God's power over death, let's try for a few minutes today to stop waiting and rest in that particular moment or moments. Find a comfortable chair or a quiet corner, away from the tasks and lists and responsibilities, sit down, and breathe. Be. Sink into your body, let thoughts of before and after fall to the wayside for just a little while, and be reminded that you are. That God is.
**If you want to follow along with the devotional lectionary I’ll be using for this series, you can find it here via Pittsburgh Theological Seminary**
photo credit: Nathan O'Nions (via Flickr)