EXISTING IDEAS

LENT DAY 2 – and I’m struck, towards the end of a not very holy, not exactly peaceful, madly hectic, still a meeting to go, tooth-extracted this morning, sort of a day – that I haven’t yet stopped – when not in company of one kind or another anyway – to pray. Wildness not wilderness. You know how it is? Not so much “giving up” as “Oh, I GIVE up!”. And then, yawning, “Maybe tomorrow will be a better day” …

Giving It Up explores the Lenten idea of ‘giving up’, taking it beyond the traditional idea of simply abstaining from something, and suggesting instead that what we need to give up is our existing ideas about God. With a daily readings for each day of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, it follows the heroes of the Bible who had to give up their own too-small ideas about God.

via Maggi Dawn.

I do bless God for Maggi Dawn! Today I spotted in the little bit of bumph about Giving it Up on her blog the suggestion “that what we need to give up is our existing ideas about God.” I’m sure Maggi’s right. And amongst the existing ideas about God that are so prevalent in my life (and maybe in hers, and yours) is the one about needing to toe the line and keep up the running pace if we’re ever to be anything other than wretchedness in the Divine eyes.

And I really want to give up that idea, because the God I know and love – the Collect that speaks of our wretchedness also says – “hates nothing that he has made”, and is calling me not to duff myself up in Lent, but rather into a wider, more reasonable, contemplative space. Grace.

So if – by God’s grace – I get to spend any time at all in the wilderness this Lent I’m going to ask “what, Lord, amongst the existing ideas I have about you (and me), ought I to be giving up?”