Lent is about turning one's self towards Christ...detaching from the world and cleaving to Christ. Detachment...ah yes...detachment. Today single-handedly showed me how much stuff I still need to detach from. I spent the entire day cleaning out our office, going through box after box of "stuff". This all-important, could-not-be-thrown-out "stuff" that we have moved with us (in the same un-gone-through boxes) from Indianapolis, to Pennsylvania, to Indiana and then into our new house. It's just sick. We are captive to our stuff. I never really realized how much it weighs us down until this week. I am again leading Women of Grace at our parish and there is a beautiful lesson this week on Addictions to Stuff. One passage really convicted me... "Many good Christian women have attics, closets, basements, and garages full of "treasures" they most likely will never use. If they gave their excess to the poor before moths and rust destroyed it, they would be storing treasure in heaven. As it is, they are storing up condemnation." Ouch.
So needless to say, after having read this and having been convicted...it has been a busy week. I have determined to tackle the house room by room with the focus of fostering a spirit of generosity and eliminate the vice of hording. I have already tackeled our bedroom and closets and came up with at least four bags of clothes to give away. And today, I spent close to 8 hours sorting in just the office...and I'm not even done yet! Yikes.
What is the point of me sharing this with all of you? Well, it's more than just a confession of a woman dealing with pleonexia and loving the comforts of the world. Rather, it's really to share the joy with you that I have found this Lent. I had not realized how much I had detached from God and attached to the world. Regaining the 30 pounds I had lost last year should have been my first indication right? But seriously, it has been only through this Lent and my commitment to drinking only water and eating a PCOS appropriate diet that I realized the extent of my inordinate attachment to food...how much I was seeking comfort not in God, but in food. And as I have cleaned and sorted out the rooms in my house this week, it has made me realize that I have sought so many comforts of the world...and that it's now high time to clean and sort the "rooms" of my spiritual house. It's time to return to the basics. To simplicity. To a Christ-centered and balanced life. And as I do, a spirit of joy and freedom is growing within me. It's time to detach from "stuff" and choose Christ.
How did it get this far? I'm like that proverbial frog in boiling water. Had the water been boiling when I was placed in, I would have immediately jumped out. But instead, the water has gradually heated to the boiling point and I, not noticing, have remained, not seeing the reality of the situation. I think the pain of this way of the cross just hurt too much. If I'm being honest, I know that I've turned to food and the comforts of "stuff" to dull the pain...to fill the void in my life and create that (even momentary) sense of happiness that I (pridefully) determined that God was not going to grant me. Lent has given me the opportunity to repent and turn towards Him...and in doing so, I have realized that I have been so focused on the one thing lacking, the hole in my life, that I have missed seeing He who makes me whole. The same thing goes for how I've related to my husband. I've been so consumed with pursuing the hole in my life, that I've missed cherishing the one on earth who makes me whole. As my attachment to food and "stuff" is waning, the joy of God in my heart and the joy of being with husband and cherishing him is increasing exponentially. Thank you, Jesus.
Thank you, Jesus, for giving us Lent. A time of turning to you. Please give me the clarity to see the places in my life where I have substituted things and "stuff" where there should be only you. Give me the strength and the grace to turn these vices into virtue. Forgive me for reasons that I turned from you and chose them in the first place. May your grace enlighten and sustain me as I seek your holy face. Create in me a new heart...and let it be yours. Amen.