Lent: Day Five

Monday, the beginning of the work week for most people and for me it is the beginning of my first full Lenten week. You may remember that Sundays are not included in the forty days of Lent.

Today has been a tough day for me. I had an index to deliver this morning so I was up all night getting the work done so I could send the files to the publisher by 9 a.m. Afterwards, my body was begging me to go to sleep, but I couldn’t. If I did, it will disrupt my normal sleep cycle. So I will gut it out, making through the end of the day with a few short 25 minute nap to prevent a total meltdown. As to getting anything done, I am usually limited to things that don’t demand much mental acuity, like cleaning up my office or doing some laundry. Today has been tougher than usual and focusing has been very difficult. As a result I haven’t gotten a lot done.

Part of the problem has been the weather. It has been raining all day, making it one of those dreary, cold, wet, late winter days. You amateur meteorologists out there will remember that rain brings with it low barometric pressure, which makes some people feel mentally lethargic. That is how it is affecting me, so couple that with an all-nighter and you get a sense of my day. Even writing this posting is a chore, so forgive me for any lack of coherence or disconnected thinking. On the good side, experience tells me that a decent night’s sleep will be all that’s needed for a fresh start tomorrow morning.

Our spiritual journey is sometimes like my Lenten Monday. There are times when we struggle through a difficult time that diminishes our resources and then that is followed by a recurring circumstance (like an entrenched family or work problem mirroring my rainy day on the physical side) that, while draining, usually isn’t something we can’t handle. However, on top of what we have just been through, the combination lays us pretty low. Those are difficult times, especially when the demands around us prevent us getting away and finding the space and support we need to recharge our spiritual batteries. I believe that it is no coincidence that Jesus frequently left his disciples and when off alone to pray.

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23

For my physical body, the refreshment I need will come from a good night’s sleep. For my spiritual self, the refreshment I need is a period of focused prayer and like Jesus, probably being alone for a bit. As a result, that’s what I am going to be doing a lot of this Lent, going off alone and praying, allowing God to refresh my soul and prepare me for what lies ahead. As a matter of fact, that is what I am going to do right now…

God bless you and keep you as you go about your day.