Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Lent. The end of excess and the start of focused restraint and renewal. A time culminating with the rebirth of a soul. A very loose interpretation of the meaning and purpose of Lent but the interpretation that gives it meaning to me.
I laughingly posted to Facebook about my stack of books I wanted to read, wondering if I perhaps had a problem with an excess of research. Am I addicted to Google? To books? To finding answers to every varied question that passes through my head? Or do I simply have an inquiring mind in search of a venue for my accumulated knowledge?
My kids suggested that I should give up Google and email for Lent but I asked who would be served by such sacrifice: my kids, who are old enough to have little need of me beyond driving and dinner? I, who greatly delight in every new idea to debate, discuss, and develop new questions? My husband, who admits to finding himself applying to all the people he meets in his travels the knowledge I so freely share? Would God be pleased with such pointless sacrifice, made simply for the tradition of Lent?
Or would God find more appropriate an act of service? I certainly would be better pleased to continue reading and expect that I’ll find greater healing and spiritual growth by writing. The excess of research may continue but I hope to reap more benefit by distilling some of the morass of ideas into a few new thoughts. Or at least new questions. For the next forty days, I hope to write here frequently—daily is my plan, although I doubt I’ll actually post that often. Forty days of turning the glut of information in my brain into some kind of synthesis.
By the end of the season, I intend to have regained the confidence in my own voice, the facility of word I used to take for granted. I pray to be reborn as a person whose authority I respect without needing to footnote my own opinions.