Saturday, February 17, 2007

Of "Lint", Buzz and Doing...

What's the buzz in the blogosphere? For Episcopalians and Anglicans, it's Tanzania...all the time for now. And as interesting as Tanzania and the Primates' meetings are, thankfully, the rest of the world as we know it does not revolve around that one event. For some, it certainly does, but for most of us, Episcopalian or not, there are more important and life-changing events going on in the wider world. I suspect Our Kate would not want us to be focusing solely on our Episcopal selves but reaching into the world as Christ asked us and extending our hands...
This is Our Kate, courtesy of USA Today...

Some of us are thinking of the Lenten season fast approaching on Wednesday the 21st to be more specific. Some of us are thinking about our neighbors and how they are managing on a fixed income with all the recent cold weather and consequent heating bills. Others of us are contemplating our spring garden preparations, drawing colored planning diagrams to figure out where all the plant stuff will be going in the small scheme of things. While others are wondering what job is coming up that they might apply to, either for financial reasons or career change reasons. Volunteer opportunities abound here at home and abroad. Whether it's volunteering for CASA, working on saving the county libraries, making time for the local Red Cross or training with them to help victims of domestic or foreign disasters, these and thousands of other ways are all over the place, calling us to help, or serve in some capacity.

As we have learned over the weeks of Epiphany, everyone has one talent or another, a skill or a gift, that we can offer or give to the wider world, beginning with the world right outside of our front door to the front door of a grass hut in Africa or the doorstep found in an urban setting of concrete and asphalt. We all have something to give to someone, as much as they have to give to us.

As I consider the approach of Lent, I realize that the world will not slow down for those who observe it, this time of waiting and contemplation. We don't wait easily nor do we whip out our Blackberries to input time for contemplation. But I think that's the beauty of each action: waiting with Christ and considering Him in our everyday life should not be something we have to schudule like a meeting or class, or evening a manicure. It should simply BE part of our intangible life that comes automatically to us but in itself is not automated or performed by rote.

Ideally we should be able to slide into time with Christ and slide back into our human existence as if it were first-nature. Some people have accomplished this, but not many. It is something I strive for but not with any great physical exertion. That's not what its about. It's a state of mind, a state of heart...a state of soul. And often times we do it and we are completely unaware that it has happened. Others may wonder where we have drifted off to, and sometimes we don't know either but that's how time with Christ should simple and easy.
As some people volunteer time to help others, they also unknowingly or knowingly, configure this time in such a way as to be in a moment of waiting with Christ, helping the poor, the sick, the less fortunate, and the act itself becomes their contemplation.

The waiting and the contemplating do not have to be static; it can be active as it occurs. That's the beauty of it.

So, as we come to the last Sunday in Epiphany, let's take but a moment to consider how we can be active in our waiting and contemplation with sharing our gifts and skills, regardless of what they may be. I believe in so doing we will know great quiet joy.

quietly preparing to slowly live Lent in the fast lane of this life...

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Growing up RC, much as was always made of "giving" up something during lent. Being a child, and simple minded, I would often strive to give up such necessities as chocolate or candy or ice-cream or gum. Outside of the practice of discipline, giving up things that are a luxury isn't really giving up much. It's like giving up meat on Friday's and eating shrimp or salmon when you LOVE shrimp or salmon. Not much of a sacrifice to the Lord.

I was never taught to "do" something - to be active in Lenten preparation, rather than passive. This is a practice my parents began to engage in long after I was grown and in the throes of my own religious struggles (read not practicing anything!), and which I found quite admirable. Go to church more often, visit those who are lonely, give to those who don't have luxuries to give up.

Oh...and while we're at it, eat CEREAL or toast for dinner, instead of eating meat. You know, really fast.

I think I'm going to try to do something for the plant this lent, as Ann+ suggests at her blog, Green Lent. I plan to attend services for several offices each week. I've already been attempting to eschew meat on Fridays, but, with limited success, so that will need to be stepped up.

Great post to get my Lenten thoughts flowing.

God Bless +Katharine for her ability to adjust the picture tube to the appropriate Christian viewing for Lent! And Bless you for helping her to communicate it.