Just a couple of days into Lent, something began to gnaw at me – I just couldn’t seem to quieten down. With work moving ahead with full force, one project ending tomorrow but others either lined up or well on their way, my hours were already packed. Now, with devotional practices special to the season of Lent added on, I seem to be running, gasping from one port to the other.
Something tells me that this is not the way it should be.
Just before Lent began, I saw the words, Descend into your inner room. And yesterday’s sermon by my priest made clear that Lent is a period of withdrawing from the world in order to bring ourselves face-to-face with God. He spoke of the Desert Fathers and of hermitages and monasteries. Moving away from noise in order to hear God clearly.
Listening to my priest, I understood why I had been feeling out of skip with the season. But I did not have the luxury of escaping to a quieter place or even that of a reduced workload. Being on lockdown meant that the whole family was working or studying from home so there were constant distractions and disruptions. Lockdown also meant that I could not quieten down in church before the Blessed Sacrament. God surely knew all that, so what was I to do to descend into my inner room instead of being suspended halfway?
The answer was unexpected.
Let go, said God.
I was still trying to control my Lenten walk to some extent. In my praying of the daily decade of the Luminous Mysteries for healing, I fret over the people I am praying for, concerned I have missed someone out. As I go about my day, my radar is up, searching for souls who need to be added on for my Luminous Rosary because guilt whispers in my ear that I have no right to stand before God with arms anything less than full.
But God is saying just the opposite. He is saying, Let go. In trying to descend to my inner room, paradoxically, I am also the one stalling my descent. His call for me is only to be obedient in praying the prayers He has given me. It is not for me to meddle in who I am to pray for nor to get distracted in checking if my prayer cart is full, if everyone is on board. Likewise, it is not on me to peck and poke, trying to discern the connection between my Luminous decade for the day and the prayer needs I am praying for. God alone decides where my prayers and sacrifices should go. And if there’s anything beyond that which I need to know, He’ll tell me – but in His time. All He asks for is my obedience and trust. Not much, far less than what I’ve put upon myself.
Just turn up, says my Lord, with a smile in His voice.