Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The practice of being enough

A. Hanson, Taize 2009.
Lent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons (the other being Advent).  There is something profoundly liberating about acknowledging our own mortality.  No longer having to pretend that we have it all together and our lives are bright and shiny and happy.  Lent is about living in reality.  I know that some Christian traditions have customs for what happens during Lent, in particular, the Catholic practice of "giving something up" which is usually tied to the concept that our suffering during lent makes us know the suffering that Christ experienced.  I am sorry, but the fact that you gave up chocolate or coffee or Facebook has no bearing whatsoever on the suffering of Christ.  Back in 2006, I remember hearing from a pastor at a discussion of Lent, "Christ doesn't need you to give up anything.  During Lent, why don't you incorporate some intentional spiritual practice?"  I have made an effort to ADD something to my life every year since then.  Last year I incorporated a time of Sabbath from schoolwork and social media, and instead, on friday mornings I would spend time cultivating relationships and community.  The year before I incorporated a time of contemplative prayer each day before I went to bed.

This year, I am finding myself crying out for more than just a Sabbath or a time of contemplative prayer.  Just this weekend I began to realize that there is a very good possibility that I have taken on more commitments than I can handle.  I currently have seven classes and a teaching parish in which I preach monthly and am actively involved.  My life is filled with wonderful things and wonderful people.  But I am feeling weary. I have overloaded every semester for the past year and a half, and that is getting tiresome.  My summer "vacation" was working in a trauma center.  I am tired.

So this year for my Lenten discipline I am going to embrace mediocrity.  Not in the sense that I am going to be doing life as a half-assed slacker, but realizing that I cannot do it all.  That it is okay to say no.  That I can still work hard in my classes, but have time for relationships as well.  I am going to be working to embrace the practice of being enough.

1 comment:

Mary Hess said...

Great intention - and it reminds me of this blog on sustainable leadership: http://www.bushfoundation.org/blog/super-leader-sustainable-leader-lessons-leadership