Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I need Lent

Lent is almost here, and it's good timing because I can feel myself slipping into all kinds of excesses. I need to prune my activities. To clean my mind. To discipline myself. To fast. Lately, I have been squandering time and gobbling cookies and staying up far too late immersed in novels.

The biggest reason my life feels messy and slip-slidey right now is that I have indulged myself by taking on too many things. 25 hours a week of class might just be too many, even if the homework load is minimal. But ... I want to do this. And I want to read, and see this friend and that friend, and have this conversation, and really explore that topic. I am intentional about investing time in schoolwork, people, ideas, work, church. But each thing, like a small but hungry mouse, nibbles away at the twenty-four hours of the day. After so many persistent teeth, the time is ragged and tattered. As my eyelids droop shut, the day droops in shreds in my hand, marked everywhere by tiny incisors. What is this sad remnant? I cannot offer it to my God, and I barely want it for myself. It trickles away, slipping down...

What offering would you have me lay down, my God?

When the torn-up time tapers away, I suddenly realize the time never belonged to me anyway. All I held in my hand was a schedule. But Time has been flowing smoothly by all the while, washing through and around and over. I want to hold my breath and duck under the surface of the time-river, and feel the water rush over me.

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