Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Plowing the Field

I’m nearing the end of my commitment to create a blog post every day during Lent.  I thought that it might be worth a blog post to talk about what this was like. 

My worry at the outset was that finding something to write about would get more challenging, that I would run out of things to write, after awhile.  I guess I worried that my mind was like a sponge and that once I squeezed all the ideas out, there would be nothing left.  In fact, the opposite happened.  I found that once I was thinking about these things, it was perhaps as if the field was being plowed, turning over the soil and allowing other thoughts to grow.  Instead of fewer ideas, I had more.  The lesson?  Perhaps many endeavors are like this.  The more we practice, the better we get.  Perhaps if we were to focus more on our spiritual lives every day, we would become more spiritual people overall? 

The process of dwelling on these things, and the result from that, reminds me of the virtue of Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

(Photo by Volker Prasuhn, courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
The other noticeable thing was, of course, the time commitment.  I became keenly aware that I had chosen a Lenten endeavor that emphasized an area in which I was already inclined or bent.  Meaning, if an ideal, well rounded life were shaped like a circle, mine would already have a bubble on it since I read and write so much already.  On a couple of days, the time spent blogging became a bigger and bigger chunk of what I did that day. This meant even less time spent on other endeavors that were healthy in other ways, such as exercise or other important things like taking care of practical details of life.  I began to see that my choice of a Lenten discipline skewed me even further in the direction of my natural tendencies.  A better choice might have been to do something totally different from these things that came so naturally.  Such as, hmm, an hour of exercise daily?  Doing some particular chore that I tend to put off? 

What’s next?  We’ll see. In the meantime, gym, here I come!

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