Those of you who have ridden a motorcycle, or a a bicycle for that matter, will know that there is some leaning required in order to negotiate bends or corners. In fact, if you’ve ever ridden a motorcycle or motor scooter with a nervous pillion passenger behind you who tries not to lean on corners, you know how destabilizing and even dangerous that can be. Effective cycle or scooter leaning comes from learning to “feel” for what’s going on as I move and the confidence to know I’m not going to fall over and bite the dust.
I have also learned that when I’m moving, I can safely lean further over than I can when I’m stationary. If I’m in motion, leaning actually helps me to negotiate curves and bends with ease, enjoyment and even exhilaration.
Leaning into Lent is the same. It gets me moving in my spiritual walk, helps me negotiate the twists and turns safely and without falling over and hurting myself or anyone else.
So, this morning I leaned into The Benedictus praying:
Guide our feet into the way of peaceIn Evening Prayer’s opening hymn I ask the Lord to help me negotiate the treacherous hairpin corners of darkness and perplexity:
Lord Jesus, think on me,And in the Collect I asked for divine help in leaning into “the way of the cross,” that I “may find it none other than the way of life and peace.”
nor let me go astray;
through darkness and perplexity
point thou the heavenly way.
It is a race I’m running (Heb 12.1) and so are you. But I’m not travelling anywhere near as fast as the racer in Devon’s painting. And, like the painting, I’m not finished yet. I don’t know that I’ll ever have to travel as fast or lean over quite as far as the racers do, but if I do, I know it will be exhilarating—only I’ll be as safe as houses.