Why do we, in the church community, see the need to add more to our lives during special seasons? Each Advent and Lent, I get overwhelmed by the multitude of activities available to me to help my spiritual/personal growth. Yet at the same time, we are told that these seasons are supposed to be times of renewal and reflection. Maybe I am alone in this, but I find it hard to reflect and meditate when I am constantly “doing.” Adding more to my life will not give me the increased time I need to have a meaningful contemplative lifestyle. I think that these studies are wonderful, but my real spiritual growth comes out of reflection on God, not endless discussion of some theological truth.
At the same time, these interesting studies seem to only come around during seasons like Advent and Lent, when there are already extra services at church, so it would be a shame not to take advantage of them. (Though this year I am leading a Lenten study at the Cathedral, so I can’t really get around that one.) Wouldn’t it be nice if we had our studies during Ordinary Time so we would be free to reflect and restore ourselves during Lent? Or, wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of an intense study, we had meditation time set aside during Lent. Just a thought.