Lent – Day 3

It’s 6:15 and I’m writing which is a lot better than yesterday.  I think skipping the youtube helped.  I managed to get out of bed at 5:30 this morning, spent some time in prayer, got a few things ready for breakfast and now I’m sitting down to write.

Friday is one of the days that my wife gets up early too so that she can get out of the house before 7.  That means that I’m on my own to get the kids up and to get them out of the house.  I’ve got three different places to take them, but I’ve got it down to a good routine and once they’re in the car I know that I’m fine.  It’s nothing that millions of parents across this world don’t do every day.

So, on this day it’s always a bit helpful to get a few things done before the kids come down, because the more that I’m prepared, the better it goes.

I don’t know if it’s possible to find joy in mornings like these that can be feel very regimented and tight at the best of times and chaotic and frenzied at the worse times.  I don’t think these are the kinds of mornings where you take a moment and think, “This is wonderful.  I love this.”

But these are the kinds of mornings you can get through and think, “I made it.  I got everyone out the door and we maintained a shaky peace through it all.”

These are also the kinds of mornings you can get through and think, “How did this go so badly?  How can I be such a monster?  How can I be so mean?  How is it possible to have such a short temper?”

As I think about finding that sweet spot in life, I’ve been coming to realize that much of the work is done in the moments where you don’t have time to be quiet and reflective – where you don’t have time to pray and meditate – where you don’t have time to smell the roses.  Finding the solid ground is about getting through the hard moments with some degree of grace.

It’s also about going back after those hard moments where we made it through without a shred of grace and trying to fix things – asking for forgiveness, offering peace, mending hurt feelings and letting go of frustration and bitterness.

That’s why I savour these moments of quiet.  As much as I like hitting the snooze button, I know beyond a doubt that I get so much more out of this time to be quiet and to reflect on where I’m at and where I’m headed.  It’s important for me to take the time every day to try and find God and to figure out what it means to be rooted in God today.

I don’t always manage to find that place.  I don’t always manage to really centre my mind – in all honesty there are a lot of days where my prayer is part sleep and part stream of consciousness.  But it makes a difference to me to at least make that effort.

If you’re not sure what I mean when I say “rooted in God”, I will tell you honestly that this is one of the things I am trying to figure out in all earnestness.  When Jesus told his disciples in that beautiful text in John that they needed to abide in him, I feel instinctively that this is an utterly indispensable, central and profound truth that must be embraced if I am to make in any progress in my quest for sweet solid ground.  Somehow I must find a way to “abide” if I want to be rooted in that spiritual presence that is the source of all life and power in this universe.  That’s the sweet spot.  It’s the sweet spot as much as you can find a sweet spot in all the craziness of life.

As I was trying to finish this up, my youngest daughter came up to sit on my lap, and I found myself pushing her away because this was my writing time, but then I stopped and I helped her up to give her a squeeze and I held for a minute.  I may not be entirely certain what being rooted in God means, but I feel fairly sure that although it may not be a source of joy on its own, it prepares me to be ready to find and to savour those holy moments when they cross my path.

 

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