“On your mark….”
I played lots of games on my block as a kid, but I don’t recall ever starting that way. If we did, it would have been a competition to see who could lay the most perfectly still, one eye open to see who moved first so the loser would be eliminated and the best “rester” crowned the ultimate champion of the neighborhood!
Funny how competition seems to be built into our DNA – probably something to do with “survival of the fittest”, but not many of us are being chased by wooly mammoths or having to shop for our dinner at the end of a spear anymore. So, what are we all running for?
From early morning to late into the evening we run, dash, scurry, sprint, hurry and rush through the multitude of tasks that make up our day. We long for more time….time for family….time for friends….time for rest….time for getting caught up on the things (and people) we never have enough time for!
Though the season of Lent isn’t one I observed until much later in my Christian life, I find myself looking more and more forward to it each year. And I think this year I understand why.
I like recess. My favorite parts of kindergarten were finger painting and naptime. Finger painting because I got to be randomly creative without “drawing a picture” and naptime because I could lay down and daydream. Laying on that thin, blue rubber mat with my shoes off I could imagine having talking animals for friends or wonder what the color green tasted like. I could dream about being a dancer or flying high like a kite. Both of these activities were scheduled “time outs” for my developing mind, body and spirit. When, oh when did someone decide we had outgrown the need?
I see these 40 days leading up to Easter as my spiritual “time out.” Not from study or prayer or meditation – in fact those actually gets ramped up during this time – but time out from the normal cycle of life that keeps me running so fast all the time. It’s a reason to try something different, think about new things and most of all, to consider what it is to be called Christian. I love that the period of time known as Lent is the 40 days preceding Easter – NOT counting the Sundays. Yesterday, Sunday, I didn’t write. I enjoyed a recess. =)
My prayer for all of us during the next several weeks is that we can slow down a bit – intentionally rest, and have time to wonder! When we take time to think about God – to rest in His presence and relax into His care, we are renewed. Jesus knew that and often took time-outs to spend time alone with God. Pretty sure that means it’s important for us too!
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
“Dear Younger Me” – Mercy Me