Thursday, February 28, 2013

Deconstruction and Lent

There's deconstruction going on at school. The old school of theology building is being torn down and an addition to the new one will be added.  I get to watch this all happen between classes.  Workers pound to get the old window frames out, others take tiles off the roof.  Everything that once made the building is being stripped away.  It is becoming a husk, a shell of what it used to be.  Soon it will disappear and something new will take its place.
As I watch this slow, steady process, I can't help but think about how appropriate this is for lent. Lent is about going inward and contemplating where you really are in life.  As you go inward, you start first with your complete self, the building before demolition.  It looks nice, but there's usually something lurking under the surface that needs to get fixed.  So you go in deeper, you explore every nook and cranny, you decompartamentalize yourself, deconstructing the bits that just won't do. You tear away the old windows, you get down to the bare husk of yourself.  Of course, in the case of the building, the whole thing will be torn down.  Lent isn't about getting demolished, it's more about renovation, but the construction sight still provides good imagery.
Of course, this is a difficult process and can't really be fully accomplished in 40 days, but we work on little bits every spring.  For example, this lenten season I'm looking into the parts of me that are judgmental, I'm examining why I feel threatened or insulted by certain ideas.  It could be that they are legitimately wrong and harmful, but mostly it's because I have different view points and simply can't understand where others are coming from.  I'm deconstructing the part of myself that holds strong beliefs, I'm looking at it, putting the majority of the bits back in their place, but modifying others as I find necessary. This is not done on my own of course, I have to delve into conversation with the divine.  For without the divine, how can I know what to keep and what to modify?  So I pray, and slowly I find the places that need some help.  Together, God and I are doing something. And if I walk away from lent this season with no significant differences in my views, at least I looked at them.
I ask that you take some time to think about deconstruction, to ponder what it means to your own lenten journey.  Where does it push you? What do you need to deconstruct in your life? Just ponder and reflect. Then turn to God and just simply be with God. Read the word, pray, do what you love to do with the divine.  See where you are called to go, what you are to do.  Take out the pieces of your life that hurt and examine them together.  If it hurts too hard, find resources to help you.  But I encourage you to reflect.
God's Peace be with you.

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