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February 23, 2012
Surrender for Lent

Nobody who is trying to nap needs three cats on the bed, but that is how many I have.  Now that we have lived in our new house for six months, they've established a routine, and our bed is their daytime station.  They don't think I should be here during the day.  They can't go out to the living room and nap  on the couch -- that's their nighttime station, and it's not night yet.  Cats are more rigid than most people think.  

I have been a little rigid lately, too, only not inert like the cats.  I've become the interim rector of St. Luke's in Metuchen, and I have a hard time staying away from work.  I recognize my old self from years gone by -- the same addiction to the church, to the adrenalin creativity stirs up in my body.  I'm too excited by the possibilities of the place to stay asleep for long.  After thirty-odd years of ordained ministry,  I still seem not to have an "off" button.   

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, a long one in any church.  I came home exhausted, but too keyed up to sleep.  So today I came home early for a nap.  It was difficult to convince myself that this was all right, but I did it.  

Surely I will calm down soon.  For Lent, a discipline: maybe a daily nap.  Some of us need to give up a pleasure.  Some of us need to take on a practice.  And some  of us need to do a little of both.

It's not too late to adopt a rich Lenten practice of your own by signing up with Spirituality and Practice for my online 40-day retreat on the Psalms.   Register at
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