Saturday, April 4, 2015

Failures and Fallow Times (a Holy Saturday blog about all those blogs I was supposed to write)

At the beginning of Lent, I decided I was going to once again take on the spiritual practice of blogging as I had a few years ago, this time focusing on reflections about life transitions.

Then I didn't. 

As far as commitments I've reneged on in my life, this one is pretty minor, I suppose. I'm not going to beat myself up about it, or anything -- which in and of itself is representative of a pretty major shift for me.

Still. There's something disappointing about an idea un-realized, a practice un...well...practiced. And Holy Saturday seems like a good day to reflect on that. 

Holy Saturday is different than any other day in the Christian year, I think, because it's a day dedicated to nothing. It doesn't have the liturgical melodrama of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. It's an in-between day, for waiting and for silence. 

"First there is an ending," William Bridges writes, "then a beginning, and an important empty or fallow time in between."

What very few resources we have for those empty or fallow times, those times that seem wasted, that time when any growth that exists is invisible, when the conditions for future growth are being restored in intangible, unnoticeable ways.

What very few resources we have, as a church and as a society as a whole, for failures and for fallow times.

Here, then, is a fallow time. A day of nothing. Of sitting. Of waiting. Of pondering old habits half-returned to, and new habits not yet fully formed. 

A day, not for the intensity of Good Friday lament, but of the numbness of month fourteen after your loved one has died, when the pain hasn't subsided, really, just turned into a steady, numbing throb. 

A day, not for the deep throes of the depressive breakdown, but for the six months out of the hospital, when people have stopped checking in on you but that sense of things not being put back together lingers on.

A day, not for the collapse of the church or the organization or the family, but for the weeks following, when nobody is quite sure what to do.

A day for failures and for fallow times. 

I didn't blog for Lent this year. Not a big deal, in the scheme of things. A very minor thing, to be sure. But still, a little commitment unmet, worth noting and pausing on for a second before moving on.

A prayer, today, for the fallow times: for the invisible restoration of the conditions necessary for future growth. 

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