Life as a Lenten Journey: Are We There Yet?
Often during this holy season, we lose direction and focus. Our spiritual GPS just stops working.
We took umpteen road trips with our five boys when they were young. The question most often heard on those journeys was: “Are we there yet?” Close in age—all born within a seven-year span—our sons were extremely noisy, occasionally obnoxious, and easily bored. They just wanted to get there.
Many of us feel the same about Lent. Our eagerness to jump ahead to Holy Week often results in wearing blinders for six weeks as our eyes search constantly over the next hill for Jerusalem and our ears are attuned more to Alleluias than Kyries. We may find we’re not particularly fond of the color purple, and our desire to eat dessert first is more common than not.
When we hear the words from the New Testament on Palm Sunday about Jesus and his disciples approaching Jerusalem, are we struck by the idea of “drawing near” and reminded that the richness of our lives is gleaned more from the journey than from any actual outcomes? Process over product. If so, spiritually speaking, this should be good news for all of us.
Generally, I love road trips, though my expectations are always unrealistic. When our children were young, their father and I enjoyed the scattered conversations, arguments, and joking that went on inside our vehicle. We all sang along with Paul Simon, Chuck Berry, and Bruce Springsteen pointed out new sights and consumed mountains of junk food.
We fantasized aloud about what we might find at our destination, and—deep in our hearts—we considered how wonderful our lives would be once we finally arrived. Real joy was always just ahead and over the next hill, never in the immediate moment…
Adapted from Everyday Catholic