Friday, March 6, 2015

Oh Lord and Master of my life

I had all the intentions of doing a Lenten meditation based on the Prayer of St. Ephraim several times a week.  But then my toddler started giving up a nap. Which means that her only nap is during morning homeschool time, not in the afternoon when I would usually have "me" time.  Thats when I would write on the blog, or make phone calls, or do anything that required two hands and one brain.

But that hasn't happened for a while now, but I have pondered this question on the days I couldn't write:

Who is the Lord and Master of my life? 

Those words make me a little uneasy.  Ok," Lord" reminds me of Lord Grantham and Downton Abbey so thats ok, but I can't think long on "Master" without difficult images of slavery and beatings coming to mind.   But that is not the kind of Master we serve.  Our Master has a loving, kind yoke that is much easier than the noose of sin. 

What rules my life?  What is the center of my decisions, my schedules, my tasks?  

I would like to say I start the day with a half hour of prayer  before the children arise and receive the grace and wisdom I need for whatever comes my way.  But almost always I sleep until its time for breakfast and everyone is up.  I go by the rhythm and routines we have set up and try to keep the peace among everyone.  If I am successful, we get to bed at night with full tummies, clean clothes and not too many hurts to forgive.

These are the externals, the day to day lists and schedules that are ordered after my family's needs.  But God provides for our needs, so these externals are his provision for what we require to be healthy and whole.

But what about the internals?  What rules my thoughts, my feelings, my daydreams?  When loneliness springs up, where do I go with that?  When someone says something that could be taken negatively, do my thoughts let it go?  When I see others doing something I wish I could do, how does my heart react? 

These are the places where I see that I am not ruled by Love.  I do not give God the reigns of my internal life. My heart runs wherever it pleases, even if it leads me to a thicket of thorns or over a cliff. 

Giving up Facebook for lent was an impulse decision, but it has shown me how much my mind is a minefield.  I ruminate over peoples comments or posts.  I look again and again to see if someone updated the status of their whatever.  I am ruled by the possibilty of novelty, of newness.  The dog startled by the word "squirrel" is me, only my distraction prompt is "People!". 

Providentially, we have also been snowed in for a good chunk of this early part of Lent.  That has of course made us all stir crazy but has given me time to cook some new Lenten meals and to put out birdseed right outside our window. 

It is a small thing, but I find that the little movements outside the window are becoming my new prompts.  I look to see which bird is there now, but approach stealthily so as to not scare them away.  We look up to see what is that new bird and their little peeps become part of our background music.  The original twitter feed. :)

So I am wrestling.  Lent gives me space for that.  Space to see the yuckiness of my heart for what it is and to be honest with myself and God.  I cut some things out so I can give both hands to the hard work of healing, restoration and repentance. 

Before I can even pray the rest, I need God to be Lord and Master over this mess.

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