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 – Holy Saturday

Road rage.

He was such a quiet person.

It’s easy to spout peaceful platitudes when everything is going fine and everyone is treating you well. But when someone speeds up from behind and keeps you from merging onto the highway, and then another honks and cuts in front of you because you’re only doing the speed limit, do you feel the anger and resentment rising? Are you tempted to flip the bird? Honk? Memorize a license plate and – do what?

I wonder how his closest friends felt when Jesus was taken down from the cross. When they went home after he was buried, what was their emptiness like? Were they filled with despair? Did they feel their entire lives pressing down on them?

What did they do?

If someone you believed in deeply, patterned your life after, and given up everything for, suddenly moved on, what would you do?

Just like in classic story structure, all seems lost right before the end.

Yet, at the darkest hour, we are given the greatest opportunity. Do we take it? Or do we cower and shy away from it, responding in reactive form?

Entering the now

It’s the first Sunday of Lent and if you’re following my Lenten journal, I hope you you took the last few days to rest and listen to your inner self. In a distracted world it is too easy to lose touch with what guides you.

This past week we have been inundated with conflicting news – the tragedy in Japan, March madness, Spring Training and multi-million dollar contract negotiations (or the lack thereof), and conflict in other parts of the world. Makes you think two different things: ‘Glad it’s not me,’ and ‘Wish it were me.’ The question becomes, ‘What really matters?’ If you’ve been fortunate to live through a disaster (in the instance where you experienced one), you’ll understand that in the immediate aftermath the only things that matter, and that you are thankful for, are your own safety and the safety of those dearest to you. Everything else shrinks to triviality.

I think if you live in the moment, that is one of its blessings. Things that seemed important shrink into insignificance. There is only now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. My heart aches at the tragedies occurring around the world and I become less interested in the plights of the rich trying to become richer; yet, no matter our standing, we cannot avoid life and all of its beauty, wonder, and danger.

To live now is to accept that, and to cherish all your interactions, whether they are as simple as raking leaves with a loved one nearby, or as complicated as negotiating peace between parties whose focus is only on themselves. Each moment you can choose your response. But only if you are aware of the opportunity.