This week is significant in the church calendar. On Tuesday we ate pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, or as some know it as pancake day. Oatmeal banana pancakes with apricot preserves. They were good!
Wednesday marked the official start to Lent, 40 days of reflection (excluding Sundays) on the pathway to Easter. It is often marked with fasting, with giving something up, and I like to think of it as a contemplative time. As we listened to the Dean of Canterbury in his morning prayers he suggested marking each day with a word, or thought. Something to ponder for the day. I liked that.
It seemed fitting that I had painted a little swan picture, on Tuesday, and the word I thought of was reflective. What am I reflecting on these days? How can my spiritual walk go deeper, be richer in this time of waiting?
For if you have a spiritual practice or not, this is certainly a time of waiting globally. We are waiting for vaccinations, for the end to this pandemic. We are longing for peace. It seems to me, it is good time to ponder on these things, to receive this waiting time as a gift.
I’ve learned there are gifts in the waiting, even though I don’t always like it. There was a hard time in my life when everything was upside down, where my work had ended, I was depressed, and I didn’t know what the future held. It was in this waiting time, this time in the dark that my faith was deepened in a way I didn’t even recognize it at the time.
I think of it as my bulbs in the cold hard earth, waiting in the dark, and it is the warming of spring that causes them to break open and begin to grow.
How are you journeying through Lent? I’m going to choose a word or thought each day and write it down in my journal. I might paint some of them, as a spiritual practice. I often post pictures on my Facebook page: Grace Notes Thoughts & Prayers if you want to connect with me there.
In these days of isolation, it is good to encourage one another, even though we cannot meet formally. I’m also glad to be part of the Lenten series, an online ecumenical devotional series created by five churches in our community, offering a devotional service once a week until Easter, starting February 24. I will be posting links next week.
I’d love to hear from you. What is your reflective practice in these days?