It has been a very non-Lenten way to finish Lent. Far too celebratory. 😉
Maybe I’m crazy (ok actually I know I’m crazy), but this week my mind keeps going back to the likely fact that this was the year of life to which Jesus never made it. Tradition (good, bad, and ugly) usually has it that he died as a 33-year-old. Maybe that estimation is off by a few years. No matter.
It makes me feel grateful for each day, for the profound gift that life is, for each day I’ve been given that now stretches beyond the short life we stole from Jesus.
And it makes me feel responsibility: to make the most of my life, or perhaps more, just to thoroughly enjoy my life in gratefulness to its Giver.
And it makes me feel terrified – for all that Jesus did in the beautiful and horrific Incarnation (God coming as a human to live among humans) – there is no Incarnation for a longer than 33-year-long life.
My life – all of ours – may indeed stretch out nearly three times longer than Jesus’. Those are quite a few years that Jesus never specifically incarnated.
I’m filled with questions:
How am I to continue to run the long and winding marathon of my still-ahead life?
What does it look like to persevere in the work to which God has called me?
Jesus’ work killed him. But what are you supposed to do when your work nearly kills you? When you feel chewed up and spit out, but not relieved of getting back up and trudging back to work the next morning?
What does it look like to age well?
Fortunately we have the saints, the people who’ve dedicated their lives (their 10,000 hours it takes to ‘master’ a craft, so to speak, though perhaps by definition, frankly none of them would ever assent to being called a ‘master’) to learn, to embrace, to persevere in spiritual growth. Fortunately we have spiritual mentors, the humble and reluctant leaders who pray for and go ahead of us. Fortunately we have the Spirit of God, who Jesus claims is even better than having Jesus still here with us. I think I believe him.
Still, 34 feels like uncharted waters.
PS. This picture fairly well (shamefully? shamelessly?) sums up my week: my 5-year-old dressed up as a 100-year-old for his 100th-day-of-school party, very concerned about his outfit (“Mom, can you roll up my window so the baby powder doesn’t blow out of my hair!” “Mom, is it windy out there?”), making his best ‘old person’ face, and me laughing hysterically. It is very difficult to practice a sober Lenten somberness for much more than 30 minutes at a time when you have 3 children ages 7-and-under in your home. And that happens pretty much only when they’re asleep. Which is far too sparse.
And so this picture is my final Instagram submission for #47daysoflent #lenttogether. I’ll still be posting into the season I call #unlent. More to come on that… Until then…