I began my week feeling claustraphobic about life. My house was cluttered. My schedule was cluttered. My plans for Lent were unfinished and unorganized. My thinking was scattered. My ability to concentrate was non-existent. I felt like I was drowning.
On Monday, I tackled the most obvious sources of clutter in my house: laundry and papers. For six hours I moved back and forth between the two, making as big a dent into each as I possibly could. Of course, with three children in the house there were many interruptions. Still, by the time I went bed I was breathing a little easier.
On Tuesday, after a full day at Presbytery, I tackled my “plans” for Lent. For five hours I sorted and searched, considered and crossed out, planned and prayed. By the time I went to bed at 1 a.m., I had all of the services for Lent outlined, my sermon series nailed down, all of the new selections of sung congregational responses for the season picked out – along with a number of the hymns, and even portions of liturgy in place. I was exhausted by the time I crawled in bed, but exhilarated. (Side Note: I must have been feeling pretty good because a few hours later I woke myself up laughing. I’m talking about body-shaking, guffawing laughter! When I woke up, I remembered what was so funny in my dream, but the memory disappeared with the morning light.)
Today was a beautiful day. I started it with an invigorating walk. Then this afternoon while my children played outside I got out my pruners and went to work cutting back unruly limbs on bushes and vines from the last growing season. By the time we drug our filthy bodies inside, I had one corner of the yard looking pretty good.
All of this cleaning, organizing, walking, and pruning are visible metaphors for what I feel is happening internally. I have so many things bouncing around in my head: questions, disapointments, self-doubts, restless feelings, and even a few hopes that may or may not be within my reach. I’ve barely made a dent in the internal work I need to do, but at least I have begun.
Clearing out. Like Songbird, I think this is my work for Lent.