My desk on the second Friday of Lent, or Mind your own business

My desk, this mimsy metaphor, is messier. You would think that when you clean, spaces would actually get cleaner, but the process sometimes makes them messier first. And sometimes the will to clean itself leads to doing less than you normally would do. So the spaces in your life become messier because you’ve been afraid to begin. Life is hard. Life is messy.

Oh, brothers and sisters, do your best and give thanks.

On a darker note, let me just say that having black coffee as a Lenten sacrifice is stupid. Sucks balls. Though it’s a bitter drink as well, I may switch to green tea for my caffeine fix during the duration. Because black coffee—especially my wife’s non-measuring method of making coffee—is . . . *Shiver* The morning coffee routine seems pretty ritualistically ingrained. We’ll see.

This first week of Lent we seem to be, each of us, struggling with the deep spiritual issue of learning to mind our own business. Often we get frustrated with one another because, “Didn’t they give such-and-such up for Lent?” or “So-and-so hasn’t even made a Lenten sacrifice.” Much of the time we have these concerns because we’re so frustrated that we can’t have/do x, because of what we have chosen. We’re frustrated because of the burden we’ve laid on ourselves, of having to tell ourselves No. “Mind your own business” is a good lesson for all of us. We have our own souls to mind, and need to leave others to theirs as we learn to love them and pray for them (but never proud prayers). And so we learn to live with the decisions we have made, without becoming angry with those who have not made similar decisions.

It has also been difficult for me to write this week. The first reason is that I have had a particularly nasty migraine for a few days. The pain has been frustratingly resistant to my normal meds, but I did find a fix in these headache patches available. They’re gel compresses with menthol and camphor (I think my wife said? I’m probably wrong) that stick to your forehead. It cools and . . . well, works. For me. It does take a while, unfortunately. But with some rest and a few hours, it seems to do the job. And sometimes it seems to do some of the work quickly enough to take the edge off so that I can exist without being completely miserable. I would recommend these as a staple in your medicine cabinet. Beats a wet rag. And stays in place. Just go to your pharmacy and tell them what you camphor. *Rimshot*

The second reason it’s been difficult to write is because we picked up a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for our old Wii U (wanted a Switch too, but my wife reminded me that we need the van and our house and, you know, food). Forgive the punctuation mess and cliche, but: What. A. Game. We have barely enough time to squeeze in an hour-long turn for everyone during the week. And then an hour seems to go by so quickly as you are fighting mobs, training horses, foraging for recipes, or simply distracted with exploration. A gorgeous, big, open, beautiful game. I’ve always been a fan of Zelda games, but this one is something special. That being said, I need to write more and help my children play the game less. Oh, and sleep. I need sleep. I’m not a young man anymore. Say mirrors. Says body. Say children.

It is Lent. Pray for me. And I will pray for you. Let’s draw nearer to Christ this season together.

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