It’s been one of those weekends: on the go from Friday after work through until now, gone half-nine on Sunday night. Time spent almost exclusively with choir friends – there is something special about being with fellow choristers, a reminder that I too am a chorister despite how hard it often is. There’s something special about being with people who sing, just because they can, and because they like it. Singing Happy Birthday to a fellow chorister with as many harmonies as there were people in the room – the joyful magnificence of this will never tire for me.
The upshot though is that those things that had fallen off the radar are still off the radar. It would be nice if acknowledging it to myself could have resulted in some miraculous restoration of what my priorities should be: suddenly I’d be back writing, ideas for my blog would be flowing, I’d have sent the letters and the emails and the text messages I’d like to. I’d be doing all the important things.
The other thing that would happen with this miraculous restoration is that my spiritual life would be back on track. Because it’s not on track at the moment. That’s something else that has fallen off the radar. Having re-discovered my spirituality, and started to learn how to hold it gently and allow it to hold me, I have suddenly become too busy – which is a horrible thing to say, and a horrible reality. How can I be too busy to hold in my consciousness the fact that I dwell in the love of the Creator? To spend time quietly sitting in that knowledge, re-centring myself on the reality in which I have my being? To continue that painful and extraordinary process of learning to open myself up to that Source of love and compassion though which all things flow?
And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened. And so this time of Lent, which I had thought to be a time of simplicity and reflection, a time of renewal of my faith and of my baptismal vows and of my existence as a creature of the Creator, has simply been a time of busyness. What should have been a time of cutting back, of withdrawing from those things which are superfluous to the reality of my life, and re-turning my thoughts and my will to the Origin of my being, has been a time of adding: demands, jobs, interactions, things to keep in my head.
Tonight marks the second Sunday of Lent and I know it will only get busier. There’ll be extra rehearsals and music to learn for Holy Week and Easter; the wonderful demands of social interactions – for which I’m fervently grateful – and work will be its usual, full-on, relentless, in-my-face self. But I have to find a way of turning away from some of that, some of the time. Turning away from all the things I must do, so that I can remember that I was created to be. Turn away from some of the demands, so that I can open myself up to the invitation of the Divine. Turn away from bustle, so that I can remember how to sit in silence.
It seems like an impossible task and it just may be – there are only so many hours in the day, after all. But here’s the thing: I dwell in the Sacred regardless. My every move, every fibre of my being are permeated with the Sacred, held by a Force of love so powerful, and so gentle, that I can no more escape it than I can escape the air I breathe. And I’m grateful for that.