Sunday, March 08, 2009

Lenten Discipline

I wrote on Ash Wednesday about my desire to experience a holy Lent. I chose not to give up anything in this season. That liturgy hit me square in the face with my hubris, with the sense of my “creatureliness.” It hit me with a profound sense that all that I am and all that I have comes from the grace of God. I am too prone to a sense of self-sufficiency and a tendency toward hubris.

The days since Ash Wednesday have reminded me I am a mortal creature, just like all God’s other creatures.

And so I found a new Lenten discipline this year: I vowed to look for opportunities for gratitude. Since all I am and have is a gift, I want to be more intentional about recognizing and giving thanks for those gifts.

Mind you, I’m not adopting the “I am a worm and no man” sense from the Psalms. I am not groveling. I am simply trying to cultivate a sense of gratitude.

I am finding joy in this discipline. It is so easy to whine about what I don’t have. But it is a blessing to be open each moment to the gifts that are bestowed on me, without my warranting a one of them.

6 Comments:

Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

I hear you!

It's easy to be p.o.'ed. It's hard to say, "Hey, wait a minute...I'm really thankful even though this is not perfect!"

Today, we had some water get in the undercroft at Trinity b/c of the crazy rains. Not much, but it means we still have some work to do. I was grateful that it was only the Sunday School room and not that AND the nursery like last time. I found last fall where the sump pump was supposed to be draining and the outflow was buried under the yard, opened it back up and extended the pipe.

Then I got home and found out about the tragedy with our friend +Bosco's daughter, and said, "Ok, I don't need to be grumpy about the damn water anymore. I am SO lucky that is the worst thing that happened in my life today. Get over it!"

So I understand exactly what you are talking about! I need to learn to find that gratitude without being shamed into it by learning something far worse that is happening with someone else.

Happy trails with it!

3/08/2009 5:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Yes, Kirke, you said it better than I.

When you think about it, we are all totally dependent. Dependent on our structures and infrastructures. Dependent on God's grace. Dependent on our friends and/or family.

I find it too easy to think I'm self-sufficient. But I am not. I'm trying to be more aware of that in this liturgical season.

And you're right: Horrid events like what happened to Bosco's daughter can sometimes snap us back into perspective.

BTW, I'm totally in awe of what you do in your parish!!

3/08/2009 6:07 PM  
Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

You have to be a long time St. Louis Cardinal fan to get this, but I like to say I'm the "Jose Oquendo" of the parish.

He was the utility infielder in the 80's who one year, played every position on the diamond, even getting to pitch part of one inning.

This came about for 2 reasons....

1. Most of our parish is composed of Truman State Univ. faculty and employees. They are often away summers, spring break, Christmas, etc. I'm more or less "a townie" since most of my relatives live in Kirksville and Macon. I'm around when everyone else is gone.

2. I grew up in a "working class country folk/working poor/do it yourself b/c we can't afford to pay for the service" family...so I can do things like fix toilets, "handyman work," etc. That's kind of a minority among the highly educated. We are a small parish and I save them a lot of money!

3/08/2009 8:19 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I understand all that, KirkE. I grew up "working poor," too.

And it seems to me that the folks in my parish who keep things working are not the "privileged" ones -- but the folks who are more like thee and me.

3/08/2009 8:26 PM  
Blogger Lindy said...

The "...no man" thing always did get a chuckle from me because, of course, I AM no man. But, I hear you on that. The gratitude.

3/09/2009 8:39 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Touche', Lindy! LOL!

3/09/2009 9:26 PM  

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