Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Out-of-Season Thinking

I've been tinkering with a reflection I agreed to write for a Lenten meditation booklet, and tomorrow's the deadline. My little piece is almost finished, but I think it lacks a "soul," mainly because I'm not in the mood for Lent. I'm in the mood for Advent and Christmas. These things are always written well in advance - not unlike the way we used to create Christmas commercials during the summertime when I was in the TV biz, so I'm forced to think about the privations of 40 days/40 nights rather than give in to my wintertime festive feelings.

It's hard to pull away from Advent and bring some new insight to Lent. I'm not good at Lent, anyway. I'm always in Advent-mode, always waiting for Christmas instead of Easter. I guess that makes me a bad Christian, but, well, there it is. Resurrection is phenomenal, miraculous, but way beyond my understanding. But a baby born in a manger, with angels and shepherds all around? Why, I can write about that till the cows come home.

Folks often compare Advent and Lent since they are, by tradition, periods of self-reflection and anticipation of bigger moments to come. But let's face it, Advent is happier, more hopeful, plus, we tend to indulge instead of deny during this season, which is a lot more fun. Lent is just - well - long. And depressing. And nobody wants to go out to eat or do anything jolly because they've given it up for Lent.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm bad at self-reflection, despite being in desperate need of it, obviously. Here's my brand of self-reflection: "Well, that was a stupid thing to do; don't do that again." Then I move on. And I'm a really bad meditator. I start out OK but eventually drift into thinking about all the stuff I should be doing while I'm just sitting and meditating. So I get up and do whatever it is I need to do. Being quiet and still, like one is supposed to be during these things, is not one of my gifts. I do quiet and still when I'm asleep, though even then I toss and turn and talk. So, no. Not good at quiet reflection and meditation. 

But I figure God made me this way and gave me other ways to sort out the answers to big questions about myself and the world. You quiet meditators out there will just have to accept that about me. But this post is moving me no closer to the Lenten meditation finish line, so I'll sign off and hope for the desert-like feeling of Lent to descend upon me.

I will, however, have one eye on the little Christmas tree in the corner of my office. Sigh.

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