I have to admit I've been in a bit of Liturgical slump. I just haven't been as inspired to do "all the things" over the last month or so and honestly that's fine. Doing fewer of the "the things" is better than doing them for the wrong reasons.
I haven't really gotten my act together for Lent either and I'm feeling like that's okay to. Lent feels like it should be more gradual and have more of a build up than Advent. Advent is meant to mimic that special time of preparation before birth - you know that's coming, you know what should be done and you have a rough idea of when. I don't think Jesus' followers realized their Lenten seasons was approaching and going on until the last minute, they probably didn't realize that it would all be over so soon. Perhaps if they did more of them would have stayed awake that night in the garden.
So it feels right at this moment to take Lent in steps.
Of course there are things I know are expected of me and I'm starting to piece that together, but I'm not worried about having it all figured out before Wednesday.
I'm starting to feel that Lent should take me by surprise a little bit. I think I should get to Holy Week and be a little shook up that it's here already, that maybe my plans aren't finalized and I haven't accomplished everything I meant to do.
I think that's the gift of the Liturgical Year, it mimics birth, life and death and as we pass through Good Friday we receive the gift of another year to make it a little better, bit by bit. We get the knowledge that unlike real death and it's finality we have the opportunity to reflect and change and try a little harder. We get the chance to realize we haven't prayed or given or loved enough in the time that was clearly laid out for us and we get, ideal, a second chance to improve ourselves.
If we were to walk these forty days with Christ as he lead them, as the last he would be among his beloved friends, family and followers; what would we work on? If we new our final days were upon us what are the things we would give up or give more of in our lives. I think these are the things we're actually asked to do for Lent.
Lent approaches, and my Lent will not be perfect, but because of it next year I might do just a little bit better.