It’s the beginning of Lent. For those who don’t follow or know about the Christian calendar, this is the period of preparation for Easter. It lasts forty days because that’s the number of days Jesus retreated to the desert to fast before He began His public ministry. Many people give something up during this time. Over the last number of years I have felt inclined to instead take something on.
I am someone who prays. In fact, I pray a lot. I pray in the car as I’m driving to work. I pray again on my way home. I pray as I’m anxiously working out an issue. I often pray while I’m cooking. I pray while I’m running around the drop-in at The Dale. And so on, and so on. One could argue this is good, right? Well, yes, hopefully. But here’s the thing: sometimes my prayer life is exhausting. My brain is going and going about all the things weighing on my heart and I just talk at God incessantly.
When I speak to people about prayer at The Dale, I often say that it is about having a conversation with God. In my case, I’m probably not leaving enough space for God to get a word in edge-wise. The irony of this is that I’m a pretty good listener when it comes to my human relationships. I guess I need to learn more about what it means to listen to a God who doesn’t usually speak audibly when I finally shut-up.
Which brings me back to Lent. I have decided that I want to be intentional about taking time to be quiet and still with God; to turn to Scripture and allow it to really SPEAK; to find the patience to wait on those things that I so hope will come to fruition. This restless heart of mine needs for some of the noise and clamour to cease. I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to talk a lot- just with a few more pauses in between.