My cousin, Katelin, writes a blog called by their strange fruit that examines Christianity’s often bungled relationship with race/racism, and the consequences for modern ministry & enduring injustice. Last week she peeked at joylibby.com while I was pondering ideas about Lent and left such a beautiful comment, I wanted to share it with you. If you’d like to check out Katelin’s writings about race, lots of great interviews, book and movie reviews, guest bloggers and some downright funny stuff, hop on over to her by clicking here. Here’s Katie’s comment….
I really related to this post! I grew up non-liturgical, but have recently been discovering the beauty of the tradition. I went from scoffing at ritual and pomp, to understanding the value of remembering the powerful/holy nature of a timeless God that is worshiped over hundreds of years by a shared heritage and tradition. That isn’t to say that we idolize ritual, but can enjoy the benefit of building good habits in worship as we do in the rest of our lives. At my core, I’m still a non-denom praise-and-worshiper, but have enjoyed the richness that the liturgical calendar can bring.
One year for Lent, I chose to give up my coveting of time. I tended to hoard ‘time’ like a treasure stored in a barn. I would be jealous of others’ time and stingy with giving my own. I was stressed, and frantic and I tried to buy more time in my day. ‘Time’ was my currency, often valued much more highly than money. But did I ever tithe my time? Did I give 2.4 hours every day to God?
So that year for 40 days, I gave up my obsession with time. When I was tempted to freak out about a lack of time in my busy schedule, I reminded myself of my commitment to release those fears to trust in God’s divine schedule. I was scared that I wouldn’t be productive, that I would fall be hind on my ‘to-do’s, but I was amazed at the freeing, life-giving effect it had on me. It was particularly salient the following fall as I entered my last year in college with an understanding of a need to prioritize relationships over ‘time’, which had been placed on a pedestal. Of course, I need to remain responsible with my studies, but made sure to also carve out space to commune completely unproductively with the folks in my life that I would probably never get such a luxury with again. It was one of the smartest things I did in school.
I still struggle with ‘time’ idolatry. I certainly don’t tithe time with nearly the same discipline I tithe money, but the journey continues and it started with one Protestant’s curious exploration of Lent. ‘Giving up worry and replacing it with Trust’–this should probably be the next step for me.
That was a lot I know, but it’s been on my heart lately, and your post stirred it up.