Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sensing Lent 4: Earth

Despite the spring sunshine on day 4 of Lent beckoning me outside, I still felt the iNtuitive temptation of a new book that just arrived through the post.

But no. Out I went to feel, the warm sun, taste outdoor coffee, touch worms, look at the yellow daffodils and smell the mint growing again in the patio pot, and the cat poo unearthed in the garage.

Being outdoors is healing. Dirty fingernails, walking on the springy moss (we don't have lawn, just moss) and noticing the rhubarb has suddenly sprouted again lifts the spirits in a way no amount of abstract thinking can do, even with a new book sitting unread.

I was perturbed by Giles Fraser's article in the Guardian today... (NB: Very fruity language alert in the first line, if you're sensitive to these things). I realised that 'self growth', akin to what I am attempting this Lent, is not at all the same as soul searching for sin. Have I become nothing more than a liberal delusional, thinking that psychological development of my underused Myers Briggs side is a worthy task for the penitential season?

Interesting, that intersection of theology and psychology. Several times during training for the C of E I wondered if what was going on in the personal realm had a theological or a psychological explanation. For example, the temptation to harbour attitudes that are unwise and unhealthy, those little dark areas within that remain stubbornly un-healed - is that the devil or some area of human development you still need to go through? My evangelical friends would say the former, my liberal ones the latter.

In a stand against dualism I came to feel that both were
right. So whilst somewhat sharing Giles Fraser's queasy feeling about what he sees as doomed attempts at human betterment, I still think 'know thyself' is a good starting point for Lent.

No comments:

Post a Comment