One minute I was walking towards the car, the next I slammed into the ground, money flying from my left hand and my phone flying from my right hand.
Shock. Darkness (because my eyes were glued shut, trying to keep the pain at bay). Then, like a cheesy scene in a movie, I started rolling around in pain, trying to grab my ankle. My sister jumped out of her car and came racing to me.
“It’s bad.” I squeaked rolling around. “It’s bad. Oh my word, I think I broke my ankle. Gross! I landed in goose poop!” I hit the ground so hard, thank the Lord it was mud that was embedded in my hands, not poop.
You’ve had days like this too. Where you thought the afternoon or weekend or year would look one way and then . … whoosh! It didn’t. A trip to urgent care showed my ankle was not broken and I had not ruptured ligaments. I had, however, sprained it.
This was on a Friday afternoon. The Friday before the writers’ conference that I annually help put on. The conference we had been preparing for months. The day that requires me to be mobile. Lord, why?
Not to mention the other pieces of life going on.
I will admit, that this season is pretty full. But it’s these kind of seasons that can help clarify what is a priority and what is the colorful spice of life. You’re going to have your own version of “Sprained Ankle” or “Writers’ Conference.” They are important! Don’t apologize when a season is full. They add color to our lives and become the containers of bigger stories.
But, they can be confused with anchoring stories. Anchoring stories are the ones that will be there in good times and bad. The ones that you can cling to when you’re not sure if the story is big enough to hold the highs and lows of life. The truth is, and you know this, when a hard season or event strikes is when the color of life pales. Color is good! It is. I love color (you’ve seen my glasses, right?), but the colorful subplots can’t anchor us.
The church year is one way to anchor in the bigger story of God’s love story for humanity. We are in the midst of Lent. I’ve done a tiny bit of research (please dial back your excitement, the truth is I could share a lot more about the Broncos than I can about Lent).
Interesting facts about Lent:
- It is 40 days, not counting Sundays. Sundays are meant to be feast days, and different from the fasting days of Lent.
- Speaking of fasting, in French, the word Lent means slow. I don’t know why this delights me so much but it does. Don’t you love the playfulness of God? Fast. Slow. I love it.
Maybe Lent is sneaking by and now you feel guilty. The irony that I have an foot that is swollen and sore, that will not let me move as fast as I want, is not lost on me. Slow. Still. Solitude. Silence.
Why do these spiritual practices each start with an “s” and put together sound like a small leak?
It has been several months since we practiced stillness together, albeit each alone. Today, instead of merely talking about stillness, let’s practice it. I found a ten minute nature video on YouTube for us to practice being still.
Play it on full screen without doing anything else.
Sit by this stream, and be still. What does God want to share with you today? If you want, ask God what he wants to show you, where you might need more “slow” during Lent.
Potential questions: Where do I need to slow down when it comes to family? Work/ministry/homekeeping? In regards to the culture? Where do I find my mind racing? What is happening faster than I want? Or slower? What is God showing me about Himself? (Watch video here if needed.)
I’ll be honest, it was awkward and harder than it “should” be—it is only ten minutes for heaven’s sake! But that is why we have Soul Tending Tuesdays. To create space for us to tend our souls in ways that allow God to speak.
How was it? I’ll share my experience in the comments and I’d love to hear yours.
Not sure how to manage your stress and the uncertainty around you? Watch (or rewatch) the workshops Recalculating to Change, Manage the Tension Between Risk and Rest, or this month’s workshop TCKs and the Enneagram. All three have insight on how to stay connected to God and tips for handling stress.