lenten journal: preparation


I have spent the day preparing for tomorrow.

Two years ago it struck me that March fourteenth—3/14—was as good an excuse as any for an all pie dinner, so we had our inaugural Pi(e) Day. Now pie holds an important place in our home, particularly at Thanksgiving, or—as we like to call it—Pie-a-palooza. Some years ago I fell into the ritual of baking as many pies as I could the week before Thanksgiving—some for us and most for Ginger to travel around and give away. It is one of the things that makes Thanksgiving my favorite holiday. To find a reason on the other side of the year to focus on pie is awesome.

I am actually fairly clueless as to the significance of Pi when it comes to math. I’m better at cooking so on Pi Day I am more concerned with the ratio of flour to butter than anything that relates to 3.14. Since the menu is a surprise for those who are coming to dinner, I can’t tell you yet, but the day has reminded me how much joy there is in the preparation. One of the things I miss about working in a restaurant is preparation was a part of most every day because our creations were incredibly temporary. We made things we knew wouldn’t last, which meant we had to come back the next day and do them all over again.

There is something centering about preparing the mirepoix for a soup, slicing potatoes, and stocking your station before the meal service begins, just as today I found great pleasure in getting things in place for an afternoon of cooking tomorrow. By tomorrow night what we will have to show for our work will be mostly memories and the bonds between us that will be fed by being at the table together.

This evening I have been mindful of the basketball games in the background as teams work their way through their respective conference championships, all of them hoping for that “one shining moment.” As I know I have said before, I love the NCAA Tournament and am always amazed by how some of these folks rise to the occasion and give us some incredible games to watch. Life, however, is made up of much more preparation than performance, much more dailiness than shining moments. If the payoff were only in the winner’s circle, this would truly be a miserable existence.

In the living of these days—the routines and rituals—we prepare ourselves for those moments that create room for us to make our offering. The preparation tunes our hearts, hones our skills, sharpens our senses, and reminds us that whatever shining moment may come may feel critical but will not be lasting. Win or lose, we will be called back into the dailiness of grace, of gravity, of getting ready, and that dailiness is where eternity lies.

People get ready . . .



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