A Change of Pace
Do you know any French? It turns out that the French word for “slow” is “lent” (no relation to the English word “Lent,” which comes from the Germanic). I always think of that ironic coincidence around this time of year, in our season called Lent, when life seems anything but slow.
Perhaps the value of the liturgical seasons comes not in the way the seasons correspond to our moods, but in the way they sometimes strike our lives at an angle. They intrude upon the ways we would otherwise live, rushing about, high on a dose of busyness, but really barely keeping our heads above water. In contrast, Lent asks us to slow down.
And we want to, but we don’t always know how. Let me give you an example. I heard a writer talk recently about the way technology is changing our relationship to objects. Where in the past, we would seek out an object for a specific function -- a map, a record player, a typewriter -- now many of these functions are contained in one place: our smartphones. When we pick up our phones to use them, we forget which function we’re seeking. We become distracted by the news, or a text message, and life speeds up as we just try to sort out what we needed in the first place!
One antidote to this may be to become more intentional. More intentional about praying, more intentional about saying “No,” more intentional about structuring our days. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, in these last weeks of this “slow” season.
Wishing you God’s peace,