It’s just been a tough couple of weeks..certainly don’t want to compare myself to Job, but at my lowest moments, that’s where I’m going. Why is it that at times the struggles seem to come from every direction? No matter what I plan for my ‘lenten sacrifices/promises,’ God always has other plans. And so, in the midst of all of this ‘garbage’ which I’m dealing with now, God is there. And so, my next questions must become, “What am I to learn from this…..how can I grow from this?”
And, as I oscillate between wallowing in self-pity and holding out for the sunrise, I catch a glimpse of my daffodil bulbs poking through the winter ground. In the midst of the snow and cold, the dead leaves and twigs, the promise of spring bursts through. The fresh green of new life reaching up to the heavens…..now that is LENTEN HOPE!
I’ve been thinking about lent this year…
what shall I do,
what shall I give up,
what shall I take on?
Should I try the ‘sweets thing’ again like my friend does? Why bother, I can never make it all the way through, I start to rationalize…yogurt with chocolate bits, is that considered ‘sweets?’ And then in a weak moment I grab a cookie. That’s it, I’ve broken my lenten promise, and the guilt sets in…
How about taking on some extra prayers,
reading the Bible more,
random acts of kindness…..
How about giving up beets and turnips – ok, not such a sacrifice –
but at least I can do that for 40 days!!!
So, in a few hours lent begins and it’s time to make my final decision
This year I have decided that lent will not be ‘action’, it will be ‘attitude’.
When I look ahead to the glory of Easter,
I am humbled by the Gift of the Resurrection.
It’s really all gift, isn’t it?
And so, to prepare myself for the Easter Gift, I will spend lent emptying myself.
De-cluttering my thoughts
surrendering my anger and resentments
throwing away my judgments
detaching from worldly distractions
This lent will be about attitudes not actions…..care to join me?
Oh please don’t rush lent this year, I’m just not ready!
Lent takes work, lent takes discipline, lent takes sacrifice, lent takes energy.
Everywhere I look I see lent – lenten flyers, lenten blogs, and lenten booklets.
Not quite yet – please!
I need a bit more time….
to think of only myself
to be too weary to pray
to play on the computer instead of read my spiritual books
to say whatever I want without watching my words
TO EAT CHOCOLATE
I’m not ready lent – don’t come too quickly – I don’t want to change
I’m comfortable just as I am
how I need lent this year!
This is something that I don’t understand, never have, probably never will……
More guns, really? Please tell me how putting more guns on the street, in homes, and in schools can possibly be a good thing? I can see no good coming from this kind of mentality. Arm principals, arm teachers, arm administrative staff? What kind of training would they need to have, because I’m not sure that knowing how to fire a gun would have been enough to stop what happened in Sandy Hook. So, instead of staff development days several times a year, we would have trainings at the local firing range? These are some things that pop into my head….
- police have guns but they still get shot and killed
- when do the teachers decide to pull out that gun, when someone acts suspiciously?
- I just have visions of schools turning into shoot-outs at the ok-corral
- I look at the statistics of the US compared with Europe – the main difference? Stricter gun laws and severe punishments
- our problems will not be solved by putting more guns out there…..they go so much deeper
I’ve heard many things being discussed in the media lately. Video games, violent tv shows and movies, guns, mental health, etc. Not once have I heard any discuss the breakdown of families and morals. Each week I read responses from children in our religious ed program, grades 1-8. So many of them talk about the hurt and the pain they feel after their parents divorces.
It’s time we wake up! There is no one answer, there is no easy answer – and throwing money or guns into the mix is NOT a solution. Real change takes work, it takes sacrifice. We need to put ourselves last and others first, we need to listen to our children and spend time with them. Quality vs. quantity? That’s adult talk….your children need quantity time, even if you are busy at home, your presence there makes a difference to them. Children can’t think like adults, they can’t process the same way, they don’t understand.
Please, please wake up! There is good in Newtown right now. People are pouring out their sympathy, love and prayers, but we must make this a REAL change. That is the only true way that we can honor these people.
What an interesting lent this is turning out to be. To all those strong and disciplined people out there, I tell you this in the utmost humility: This year the lenten promise that I made lasted a whole 6 days! I think that this was the shortest thus far in my life!
My lenten promise, what I decided to do, what I thought was best….hmm… and, as usual, God has other plans! Now, I’m not blaming God for my lack of will power (that chocolate was just too good to resist!), but as the days and weeks passed, I realized that there is something to learn here, how can I grow from this experience?
First, it teaches me great humility – I’m not in charge and I am not strong enough to ‘go it alone’. I trip and fall, over my own feet sometimes, and I’m so grateful for the loving arms that always pick me up and hold me as I begin to walk again.
Second, if I am quiet enough then I can hear that tiny whisper which lets me know what I should really be concentrating on. And, it is always gift, pure gift, not deprivation, although sometimes it may sting a little, like the bright light on a sunny day.
So, what is it for me this lent?
I remember the cross….I remember the reason for the cross. He asks me to give to him my worries. Fears that have actually become a part of me. Worries that I cling to. He wants them, He wants my healing, he wants my wholeness….
Now, that’s really giving something up for lent!