Prayers for a Whole Life : Day 36

a prayer of fatigue

God, even as I typed it, I felt tired: “Day 36.” Thirty-six seems like so many; a long stretch of days to maintain the daily disciplines (now becoming habits) of Lent. Every day I open this window, stare at this empty space on my computer screen, and attempt to fill it. Every day I ignore my coffee maker, every day eat fruit when I want M&Ms, carrot sticks when I want bread, water when I want wine.

And yet. Thirty-six, as large as it is, isn’t Finished yet. Why does 10 more days seem so long? The celebrations seem distant; I can almost hear the dessert table calling to me from the Easter brunch buffet. I imagine waking up on Monday, April 9, and not having to sit here and pray with type. I imagine Tuesday, Wednesday after Easter, when I won’t have to put reflections on paper to share with the Wednesday night church crowd. I won’t have to skip all the caffeine, the sugar, the dairy I’ve been missing.

Then again–have I been missing them? And has it really been an unwelcome chore to pray here, or to lead a time of worship on Wednesdays? No–of course not. The truth is, I feel better. I think I am better. This season has changed me in these 36 days, and perhaps, if I’m open to it, the next 10 days will, too.

And maybe even (if I’m open to it–if I don’t hit the desserts too hard, if I don’t stop writing and praying just ’cause I don’t have to anymore) this Lent can change my life even after the season ends. Maybe that’s the trouble with Lent; it makes us think that Easter is the conclusion, when we can let go of all our practicing and go back to “normal.” But Easter isn’t the completion of things; rather it’s a new beginning, in a new Light, with a Companion who is here to stay.

Bring me as close as You can, God, to the daybreak of Easter morning, to the resurrection. In the 10 days ahead, prepare me to greet the Light on Easter day–not with a return to “life as we know it,” but to walk into a whole new Way of Life, with the Risen Christ.

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