Last week I hurt myself when I was moving heavy canned goods for our local food bank. I didn't even know I was hurt right away, but now the steady, nagging, burning pain in my hip reminds me all the time. It really kicked up on Monday. I am fortunate to have a friend in our church who is a physical therapist who has been helping me the last few days at his office. He gives me exercises to do, has his assistant put a laser on my hurting hip, and ices down the area. What will ultimately heal it? Time. He says I most likely have a pinched nerve and that it will feel better in a couple of weeks. What to do until then? Exercise, bend as little as possible, avoid picking up heavy things, but mostly wait.
Ash Wednesday was last night. With an ashy, gritty reminder of my humility and humanity I went to choir practice and we practiced a song called, "He Died for Me." The piece was haunting- beautiful, but not at all upbeat and happy- a perfect piece for Lent. Today, I had lunch at a buffet with some clergy colleagues as we met together. That banana pudding at the end really looked good, but I gave up dessert for Lent. I am already asking the question, "is it Easter yet?" And yet I have 39 more days to journey before we get there.
I am used to instant gratification, to getting what I want most of the time. But Lent is a journey, a solemn journey of penitence, discipline, prayer and reflection. If Easter were to come tomorrow I would not be ready. I have prayers left to pray, devotions to ponder, discernment to participate in, and darkness to explore. What I need is time, and patience, and will power. May God grant each of us the same.