In the Lenten Wilderness

The nagging, oh, the nags that I experience. My internal nag — I call him Nagging Nate — has been lurking in my

psyche for some time now. He won’t shut up.

“You’re getting behind!”

“You need a creative outlet!”

“You’ll lose followers on your blog!”

Nagging Nate didn’t accept my feeble attempts at excuses. Neither my serious sickness or my son’s wedding in January would shut him up. He didn’t accept my February excuses either: a call to a new church and moving. Nope, Nagging Nate is not one to shut up.

And, so, I appealed to a higher authority. I appealed my case to God. Perhaps a bit presumptuous for such a small matter but as the Apostle Paul writes, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks.” (Philippians 4:6 CEB Read in context.)

In prayer and meditation, I was reminded that not only have my creative energies been focused on life transitions, my illness did slow me down. In the metaphor of creation, God did not create everything in a day. Neither am I  expected to create blogs, sermons, newsletter articles, and a home simultaneously.

In the Lenten Wilderness. Photo by Tim Graves
In the Lenten Wilderness. Photo by Tim Graves

I’m also not expected to forego rest. Not only did God rest from God’s work at creation but Sabbath time is considered essential to human and divine well-being throughout the biblical narratives. Sabbath is about trusting God’s abundance. Sabbath is about maintaining a relationship with the One. It is also about self-care and kindness to self.

And so in this Lenten season as we strive to add practices that help us to grow spiritually, I am adding rebuking Nagging Nate to my repertoire with the full realization that he will be back.

After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.

Luke 4:13 CEB Read in context.

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