The priest of our university chapel this past Sunday mentioned that Lent is like taking our car to the car wash. There’s a layer of grime and dirt covering the car (especially now, during pollen season!) and when the car emerges it is bright and shiny and you remark Wow! Is that the real color of my car?! Like our soul, emerging from Lent.
This has not been my lenten experience.
My husband asked if I had any thoughts after Mass and we talked about the homily and readings, as we usually do, and all I could think was that I rarely say Oh, how pretty and shiny when remarking on myself or my soul but rather Wow, how ugly and gross. Perhaps this is because we are only 1 week in. Maybe I’ll be singing a different tune at the end of Lent? But I think the Father left out a huge detail of how painful the Lenten car wash is. It is not so much a quick jaunt through some sudsy water so much as a deep, scalding scrub with an old pummus stone. Ouch.
The things I struggle most with (or at least the most obvious things) are addictive things, refreshing my email, checking Facebook, little mindless clicking games to fill the time, and yes, checking my blog reader. I recognize the frequency that I do these things as just being there to fill the time and not intentional. So part of my agreement with myself has been to only intentionally do these things, unlike last year when I gave them up completely. I guess this practically amounts to only doing them on the weekend, my designated “free time”. Like last year, I reserve the right to write my thoughts on my here, and unlike last year, I’ll probably take advantage of that.
(Well, except for Facebook, which I am once again convinced is the closest thing to innately evil that I can believe in and so am giving up for the whole 46 days. Especially after watching The Social Network, I’m convinced I’ve unwittingly bought into Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to take over the world! Drat.)
Anyway, to say this has been difficult is an understatement. I sit in an office/lab all day with little human interaction, my thesis does not talk back (or write itself), and my roommates are out of the country. So I get lonely. Just taking these things away leaves a cranky Alison, frustrated because I can’t click but I don’t know what else to do.
So I’m taking a page out of last year’s book and whenever I get really frustrated, or get that click-y urge, I’m going here: Universalis. And I will pray the most relevant prayer.
And I’m offering it up for my Prayer Buddy (amongst other things).
I guess this car was dirtier than I thought.