Like my Earth Ministry sisters, I too am struggling a bit with my Lenten practice. I pledged to take a break from busyness, to slow down and stop rushing, to spend more time walking in and appreciating nature, and to listen for the voice of God in my life.
I have been true to some of my commitments, like walking for at least an hour every morning before work. My Alaskan Malamute Stella and I have made our daily pilgrimage to Lincoln Park in West Seattle, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of one of my church’s pastors and her sweet Golden Retriever.
When I’m alone, I think and I pray – that is, while wrestling with an 80 pound squirrelly dog who has to stop and read every piece of “pee-mail” along our route. When I’m with Susan, we laugh and talk and share the joys and challenges of our respective callings. Just yesterday we were treated to the sight of two of the park’s coyotes trotting along the path, a sure sign that even in the city, there are places of wildness that development can’t touch. Whether I’m alone or in community, these walks are serving their purpose to draw me closer to the Creator and creation.
The problem is that things aren’t going quite so well once I get to work. There is just too much to do in a given day at Camp Earth Ministry to get it all done, but I’m unable (or at least unwilling) to let things go. I did say that I’m a perfectionist, remember?!
So I’m still frantically multi-tasking, trying to do too many things at once, and begrudging every minute of an interruption that pulls me away from the ‘one more thing’ I’m trying to squeeze in before rushing off to the next meeting…or making the decision to finally go home at 8pm. My mantra is still Time is a Terrible Thing to Waste, so I work to make every minute productive.
The result is that the tight pit of stress living in my solar plexus is not only not leaving, it’s settling in and picking out window treatments. And as long as I’m full of stress, I’m afraid God has very little elbow room to move around. So I’ll begin my next full week of Lent with a renewed commitment to open my heart, mind, and calendar to God, and try harder to let go of the things that separate me from the connection that I long for. I’ll let you know how it goes next Tuesday!
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