Lent – Day 7

Awareness, mindfulness. When we become aware of the present moment, so many things open up to us. How often they are missed when we focus on the future, on what we plan on doing, rather than what we are doing. I became aware yesterday of several moments where I could respond differently. Did I? Not necessarily. But I am beginning to understand them, and think to myself, “I am responding this way because…”, which I think will help me discover (phase 3) what I can replace my response with, such that the replacement fits my soul.

Yes. Too often we try to become someone we aren’t, rather than becoming who we are. Yet when we understand and embrace our true self, then the second greatest commandment becomes a habit. Wouldn’t that be incredible? I think we strive to follow the two greatest commandments, failing often and beating ourselves up for that failure, when if we understood how our desire to follow is part of our innate inner being, it would bring a new understanding and open up ways that we might change.

May God shine a light upon your path, chasing away the darkness.

J

Lent – Sunday 1 – Day 5

In sports they call it Selection Sunday. We are at that same juncture in this season if we are following along with the RADAR process. We have come up with a list of things we would like to address, and want to choose one to focus on. Just one. There’s no need to overdo it or attempt to do too much.

I think it’s common to have this image of ourselves where we think we are infinitely malleable, able to change how we act in an instant and it will be permanent. Kind of like waking up at 50 and hearing your body tell you it’s not 25 anymore. It’s a rude awakening, for sure!

I’m going to listen today, just be quiet and listen, to understand what I should focus on, and make the choice tonight. (If I’m not rushing it, I’m not rushing it!) Or is that procrastination? Am I putting it off, delaying the inevitable? For what?

It amazes me when I wait before doing something and learn something valuable. Usually when I don’t wait, I also learn something valuable, but the lesson is painful, and sometimes expensive. The reason? Had I waited, new information would have changed my decision, of course.

Free day? No. But I will be resting. Resting and listening.

May God guide your choice, and fill you with peace.

J

 

Lent – Wednesday Holy Week

One more day and the time is upon us – the supper, the cross.

If you were waiting to go, how would you feel? I wonder what went through the mind of a man David Brooks talked about. How appropriate the man’s first and middle name were Charles Darwin.

If this cup would pass…but it isn’t really up to us. I just wonder when our limit has been exceeded, what will our choice be?

Until that happens, I don’t think anyone would know. It’s easy to talk about something in the abstract, expounding platitudes and other grandiose ideas. It’s another to face it head on – and respond.

One thing I know is, I can never be mad at God. It’s pointless and counterproductive.

As Jesus prepared to spend a few last days with his friends, I spend today in quietness, leaving the radio in the car off, being quiet when I could speak up against an injustice or perceived slight; cherishing those around me. They are a part of my life.

They are where God is.

What, no Super Bowl?

Super Bowl Sunday came and went and I missed the game.  Well, that’s not entirely correct. I missed the game from the standpoint that I didn’t see it, but I didn’t miss it from the perspective of wanting to see it. So I didn’t really miss the game. I chose not to watch it. Some may wonder why, when it’s a common practice (in my experience) for communities to host a Super Bowl party and invite the teenagers.

I can’t imagine the teens don’t understand the underlying objective. I can’t imagine they’d pass up pizza just to avoid any conversations that might get started by the well-intentioned staff.

But that digresses from my point. What’s the harm in a football game? Am I going to some pious extreme? Not at all. I used to watch football every Sunday, plus some Saturdays, plus Monday nights. Enjoyed it quite a bit. But over the years I became aware of a disturbing trend, not quantified but nevertheless felt. The game seems to be much more violent now than in the past. I read of injuries decimating teams (including the one I root for) and every year seems to be more of the same. Much more than I remember in earlier times. Maybe the players are getting bigger and stronger, and the forces that clash wrecking more havoc.

I don’t know. I just know that it’s lost some of my interest. (Not all. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was happy the Giants won.)

We’re in the Ordinary lag before Lent. It’s quite apropos, as it gives us time to prepare for Lent, if that’s the only time we use to examine our faith, our life, and the path we traverse. If we examine these things daily or weekly, it’s a time when we can take our focus deeper.

I’ll be writing about this journey as we go through it. I hope you will join me.

John