Bumbling On

We have reached that stage of Lent when I am just bumbling on. In case this state of affairs is unfamiliar to you, let me describe some of its main characteristics. All efforts to make good the negligences of other times, as counselled by St Benedict, seem to be fading fast. The prospect of chemotherapy later this week and a number of urgent tasks there is no one else to do is making me grumpy. ‘Fervour’ is a word I have excised from my vocabulary. Instead of a halo, I have horns. All I can do is bumble on as best I can, falling down and picking myself up again, always getting things wrong but continually trying anew. The trumpets won’t sound for us bumblers, but perhaps there may be a penny whistle as Easter approaches.

Do not underestimate bumblers or bumbling. Like the tortoise, we may last the course better than the hare. The secret of bumbling is this: to place everything in the hands of the Lord and do our best to follow wherever he leads. There is no need to look at ourselves or try to measure our own progress. We have set out on the way that leads to salvation and are content to limp into heaven if need be. It is enough.


18 thoughts on “Bumbling On”

  1. So difficult to let go of the side of the pool and put yourself in the hands of the Lord. So uplifting when you find you can swim. Come with him the water is lovely, and remember in the words of thumper in Disneys film Bambi ” if you can’t say something nice ,don’t say nothing at all”

  2. Searingly honest. And so true. But I wonder if what God looks for is the effort we make when the going – physical, material or spiritual – gets tough.
    I hope your chemo goes smoothly. You are so brave. My respect as always to you and Quietnun.

  3. Thank you! I now have a term to describe my own lack of progress at this stage of Lent…. bumbling on is such a good description πŸ™‚
    I will certainly take your advice (oops;)) and hand everything to the Lord as I bumble on towards the Easter feast. God bless you.

  4. You may be feeling a little numb and struggling with your Lenten journey – mind you I think that with your cancer treatment all year must feel a little like a Lent. However unhappy you may feel with your progress your blogs are an inspiration.
    In the past my Lent has resembled a new year resolution. That is an idea of self improvement which I either do or do not complete during the weeks of Lent. However reading through Ezekiel this time has had the effect of making me feel as if I am looking into a ‘desert’.
    I can’t really put it into words. The only thing I can say is that I keep feeling I am seeing the modern world reflected in the prophecy of destruction of the ancient world. There seem to be so many parallels. So for the first time I am aware of the total emptiness of a world without the presence of God and an intense gratitude for the unearned presence of God in my own life.
    All I can say is thank you Sister for your help.
    As I said, I’m not really able to put this into words.

    • I think you have made a heroic effort to express what I had hoped you might discover. I am neither happy/unhappy with my own lack of progress during Lent: God sees things differently from us, and that is all that matters.

  5. From one bumbler to another thank you, you have made me feel better. Encouragement through kindness and humour is a gift blessed in grace, particularly when that gift comes from a grace under fire. I pray all will be well for you in all that comes in the days ahead.

  6. From a fellow bumbler … does it matter if we limp . As you say it is enough, Horns mine are sharp at times , and often turned inwards .. I know He loves me and is patient and tolerant with this lumpy bit of clay .He is the master Potter.

    Love this prayer from our current Lent study Fleeting Shadows by Malcolm Duncan .which this week was entitled God the restorer in the shadow of exhaustion .
    God my restorer
    Root me deeply in you
    Help me establish a pattern of drinking at your well daily
    When I am weary , lift me up
    Help me find my satisfaction in you
    Help me to base the pattern of my life on the Lord
    Strengthen my body Lord
    Restore my soul Lord
    Renew me Lord .

  7. From one bumbler to another. I will certainly be thinking of you and Quietnun at the Grotto in Lourdes next weekend. God bless all at the Monastery.

  8. I have horns with far less reason than you.
    If perhaps all those whom you serve and inspire through your site were to ask God to help share carrying your burden later this week, and subject to God answering that request, you would have less to fear and between us all the burden would not be a terribly heavy one for us either. Isn’t that what we are asked to do?
    I am sure most of those who use this site would consider it a pleasure to serve you for once; it would do us all some good I suspect.

  9. I like that description of bumbling along, because it seems to match what I do all of the time. This morning I had af number of things to do, but the priority was to see a doctor about a health issue, to visit friends, the husband of the couple has been in hospital twice this week and sent home, I arrived to find an ambulance outside the house yet again, this time due to a fall. Sadly, he is so unwell that he needs constant care, and this has fallen by default to his spouse, who at 80 is finding it a real strain, and support has been cut, so the only remeedy to a crisis is to call an ambulance. He needs 24 hrs nursing care, but won’t entertain the prospect of being parted, however short a time, from his spouse of 60 years (This Thursday being their anniversary) and he is big, she is tiny, with problems of her own.

    She described how they just bumble on from crisis to crisis and how people come to their aid to do shopping or to take them to appointments (I do some, not all of this).

    I find that planning a schedule isn’t that good. Just try to meet and keep appointments, but the rest of the time, be accessible for those who might need your help – I’d call it bumbling, because how this works out, seems to be God driven, not driven by me. And there is a certain freedom in living this way, not knowing what I might be doing tomorrow, or even this afternoon is liberating. stops worrying and allows time and space to pray for those around who need help, but haven’t yet asked for it.

    If that’s bumbling along, than so be it.

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