Looking Ahead to Advent, Looking Back at Lent
The seasons of Advent and Lent are relatively new to my Baptist-raised sensibilities. At first these seasons felt like an excuse to create a drama of ritual and contemplation. I felt awkward and foolish. I didn’t know exactly why or what we were doing. I felt out of touch, out of place and overwhelmed.
And now, with just under two years of Episcopalian experience under my belt, I still feel like these seasons are an excuse to create a drama of ritual and contemplation. But this time I feel grateful for the call to the drama of ritual and it is a welcome relief to enter a time of contemplation. Trouble is, I wish that time was now. I feel I’ve lost focus and I’d really like to find it again.
“Those who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps.” -St. Gregory the Great, from a letter to Augustine of Canterbury
But even as I write these words, it occurs to me that there is no reason why I cannot create my own season of ritual and contemplation. I have been playing with the idea of creating my own Sabbath day — my own day of rest and yearning and immersion into arms of God.
I long for a greater acceptance — not understanding, for I’m not sure that’s really possible, but acceptance — acceptance of what is. I yearn for a more peaceful demeanor. I crave a form of prayer that will dwell within me, that prayer without ceasing. That knowing joy, pervasive peace and unrelenting courage.
I wish finding focus was as easy as this…
…as easy as changing a setting in our mind’s eye. But maybe the hard part isn’t changing the setting, it’s finding the right button…