Lent has gotten away from me.
Somehow I wasn't really feeling Palm Sunday, although I did preach with conviction. I felt less of conviction within me.
I have prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from presence and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with your free Spirit." One of the Lutheran responses that has stuck me through the years. Yet, new life seems to elude me and us. Perhaps, I have been stuck in an ongoing Lent so long - that being in the actual calendar season of Lent feels no different.
Perhaps, part of it is due to the prolonged winter and slow coming of spring. Last Saturday it was near 50 degrees, and I pulled two dandelions that had no business being in my flowerbed. I broke down some of the still standing stems of flowers cut down before winter. I pulled grass that has invaded my flower beds. I sprinkled fertilizer in my garden bed knowing the coming snow and its melting would work the fertilizer into the ground. It felt good to clear away some of the winter debris and to see the crocuses finally blooming if just for a day.
Perhaps, this ongoing Lent in my life, is a continual clearing out of debris and a yearning longing for fresh and new life. I keep hoping for new life, and trying hard to keep from being discouraged and disheartened. It is not easy. What little confidence I had has evaporated in the elusive and ever moving mists of hope that is just a wisp of promise with no tangible touchstone of reassurance from above.
I have even flunked at Flunking Sainthood in that I have not yet finished this book and here it is the middle of Holy Week.
How I long for the fresh breath of new life and for Easter to break in and break through and not merely tenuously hanging on by a mere thread of tarnished and fraying hope.
Maybe Easter will come this year, this week, next month. I hope, I hope, I hope...and pray.