This Wednesday will be Ash Wednesday. Lent is one of those things that I don’t think many of us look forward to. We have to fast, do penance, sacrifice, hold ourselves to those sacrificial commitments, and feel guilty when we inevitably fail at some point. It’s akin to doing a spiritual juice cleanse – never someone’s first choice. Lent can feel like that thing we just have to do in order to get to Easter.
However, it is a very necessary season not only in the liturgical year, but in our life. And we don’t need to suffer through it. Lent can be something we truly embrace. The up-and-coming musician, Mon RovÎa, has a song called City on a Hill. It’s beautiful and I highly recommend giving it a listen. If you happen to be on TikTok or Instagram, you’ve probably already heard the clip of it circulating the internet. He sings “Can you be still? There’s a void only silence can fill.” Something in those words and the melody has resonated with a peace people crave.
Our world tries to convince us that we must be non-stop. That we need to be constantly on the go. And if we are not going or growing, we are somehow failing. But that isn’t reality. Trees and plants need a season of winter in order to flourish. They need the time to rest, turn over the soil, and shed dead branches. Lent is that season of wintering for our souls.
Can we be still? We need the stillness to find what is important. To reflect on where we are. To add good things that nourish us and cut back on the things that don’t.
There’s a void only silence can fill. Because through silence, we make room for God. To move in us. To speak to us. To be the center of our spirit. The challenge is to allow ourselves to make the time.
How lucky for us that that time is built into our calendars. This year, we’re offered another opportunity to not only embrace Lent, but enjoy it. It comes only once a year. Let’s seize the opportunity while we can. Enjoy the stillness. Soak up the nourishment. And use them both to help you fully flourish in the year to come, just as God meant you to.
– Erin Perkins