It seems like all I know how to do, is more doing. More trying, more serving, more filling of space. More doing, of things that are inherently good.
During Lent, we are asked to draw near and be still. Every year I try to abstain from something, in order to make more space. But the abstaining becomes the focus, and the doing takes precedence over being.
I tried to practice moderation and self-discipline. And then as usual, I failed. And instead of resting at the foot of the cross where my failures were nailed, I tried to dust it back off.
I kept trying to pick up the fumble, as if I had the strength to carry my struggles alone. The thing of it is, the most true part of my heart doesn’t want to carry my struggles. I want to hurl them back down into the pit – in the tender valley where Jesus holds them all.
But my false self knows no other way than “do and try.” Over and over. Do and try, instead of rest and be.
Where’s the room for grace?
I try, as if trying gets me any closer to the place I am headed. Where was I headed? Perhaps I lost sight. Isn’t the purpose of Lent to desperately draw near to Jesus? To remind us his power to free us?
I’m not so desperate when I’m succeeding. My successes become my own. But when I’m failing? My desperation comes in the pit. In the valley where I can’t see over the hill, he meets me there.
Perhaps that’s exactly what God has in mind during Lent. To remind us that we live according to our flesh. And if Jesus does not come and do the cross-thing, we can’t do anything.
In our flesh we live, in ashes and dust, and the only person who can breathe a little living into it, hung nail to tree and he accomplished it all.
Oh, sweet love. When you fall, you don’t really fail. You fall into mercy-scared hands that hold the broken bits of you. And he just holds us. And there is no doing, there is no trying. There is just being.
Just be still,