I have become a Lenten failure.
Depending on how you look at it.
I have set out, as I do yearly, to add something to my life that will increase my faith or make me a better servant of Christ. This year my focus has been on choosing peace. This goal has morphed from an exercise in finding peace, to choosing peace and finally, to resting on a goal to wrench my peace out of the hands of a would be thief.
It has been a lesson in peace. A slow evolution of how I view this journey.
Last week I realized something else.
For years Off and on, through out my life, I have kept my prayers in journals. It seemed like a way to be the most honest with my God and to keep my mind focused on praying. I tend to lose focus quickly, if not tied to the tracks. There are a few things wrong with this strategy.
If I am really praying, if I am invested in praying for my family or things that are very important to me then it takes time. My hands get tired. `Funny, I know.
For you spiritual smart alecks out there, this is not the time for that challenge…how long would you have waited in the garden?
I also find that somewhere around the middle of the page, it becomes the Tashmica Show. I am not involved in a conversation. I am throwing balled up pieces of paper at the wall, hoping that God is catching my drift. The purpose of prayer, in my mind, is a conversation. It’s a moment where we sit in on what God’s plans are.
This does not mean that the journal thing does not work for me. It just means that I am going to do things differently. I am going to use my journal to create bullet points for my prayers. I am going to spend more time reading my Bible and listening for an answer.
I am also going to stop starting my prayers like this…
Thank you for this day and thank you for this time we have together….
I mean, does anyone really mean that?
My prayers have begun to start with more truth. I am not always thankful for this day but sometimes, I am thankful for dust that looks like glitter swirling at a funeral. Sometimes I am grateful for the way that light rolls down the back of a child from the crack in the door as I rock-a-bye. Those are real things that I have been thankful for in the past month. I thank God for them because they are real moments of gratitude. Not a prayer I was taught to say to appease those standing around me with my normalcy.
As if I have ever been able to feign normalcy.