Monday, February 23, 2009

Crescendo Crabby...

February 23rd...I can feel myself getting crabby.

Either I'm tired because it's Monday, or, it must be time for Lent. Must be time for another Lenten rant..

When I used to talk about Lent with my Spiritual Director, she tried to convince me that Lent was something for me in which to find joy in the opportunity for spiritual growth and that Lent was such a fulfilling time for her. I wanted to slug her (not a common feeling, but that's what I thought). Don't try to convince me that Lent is supposed to be enriching, fulfilling, good for growth or my relationship with God. Or that I should be a good Lutheran and love Lent. It always means more work for me and not enough of a shared workload. This is, of course, partially my fault. I enable this kind of expectation on the congregational level.

Lent feels like another programmatic venture based on expectation rather than something the aids spiritual growth or maturity. I get weary providing energy for programmatic ventures, their organization and implementation. Sometimes I can cultivate a shared energy for something programmatic and I find some joy and growth. Lent doesn't seem to work that way. This year, I have recused myself from a significant obligation this Lenten season--I have given up Wednesday Lenten services for Lent (!). I will be at home or at my dear wife's congregation on Wednesday evenings and my current preaching locale will be hosted by the members of the parish. Maybe this arrangement will clear the space in my cold heart for God to enter in.

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