If I can’t use my infirmity for a good Monday blog, then what good is it really? Long story short – it appears that I have a sinus infection that has not only doubled the size of my nose, causing me to look like Bozo, but it has spread to my chin, cheeks and under my eyes. So, really, I look like Bozo with a hangover. Actually, now I’m Bozo, with a hangover, on steriods! This better work.
All of my Lenten spiritual themes seem to be running together in the midst of my misery, forcing me to learn something from all of this. Lent itself is a time to go inside, to become more self-aware, to connect with our authentic self and in the process connect to God within. To do that, one has to let go of one’s ego. We have to be willing to look inside and see the dark, shadowy places within us that we’d rather not deal with or let anyone see. Ego has little, if any, place in spirituality. Deepak Chopra states,
“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.”
Well, my ego was very unhappy about preaching to a record Sunday attendance looking like I’d been going rounds with Muhammad Ali. Perhaps I’m to learn that looks aren’t everything (and people didn’t laugh at me too much – just that sympathetic chuckle and shake of the head), that control is an illusion, and that I don’t need to seek approval or judge myself.
Then the theme for my Wednesday night lenten gathering this week is “patience.” Heavy sigh. And patience usually requires waiting. Heavier sigh. I’ve never been very good at either of these. Perhaps that is why I keep having these wonderful opportunities to learn how to do them better (note the sarcasm, please). Sorry, I’m a little grumpy and whiny – comes from lack of patience.
Truly, the spiritual journey is all about patiently, actively waiting. It is about living the questions that we have about our lives, our decisions, our future. It is about waiting for clarity. It is about waiting for God to show us the new thing God is doing in our lives. And it is about being okay with being patience, gentle and kind with ourselves while waiting. Eventually the answers will come when our hearts and minds are ready for them.
I believe my mantra for this week will be from Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” And my goal will be to not roll my eyes and snort while reciting it.