On a journey
I have never been good at sitting still. But I do love to travel; I've been a teacher in Hungary and Mauritius, driven through all 50 States, spent a month hiking in Alaska, backpacked through Bulgaria, and was an ordinand in Armenia.
And so I always look forward to the season of Lent. Because Lent is a season of journeying, starting with Jesus confronting Satan out in the wilderness, and then moving not only through the landscape of the Holy Land, but through the landscape of the soul — the ups and downs of turning and returning to God.
But Lent is also a journey of sitting still — which is the hardest part of all for me.
Remedios Varo, 'Tránsito en Espiral' (1962), used to illustrate versions of The Interior Castle, by St. Teresa of Ávila
I am really quite terrible at sitting still. Having cats helps; nothing like an eight kilo Maine Coon purring in your lap to teach you to be still for a little longer. But prayer helps even more. There's a prayer in the Episcopal Church's Book of Common Prayer (1979) which I find of great help – even though it's found in the section for 'Ministration to the Sick', under 'Prayers for Use by a Sick Person' (trust me, that sounds a little less awful to American ears). But perhaps Lent is a good time to remember our own weakness, our human frailty. It's a prayer for starting the day when you are unwell, and I wonder if you also might find it helpful at the start of each day in Lent:
This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
1979 Book of Common Prayer (The Episcopal Church),p.461