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Saturday, March 21, 2015
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-string lyre …
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love. (Psalm 33)
Pretty much how I approach every new day with a bucket of optimism as I consider myself a fairly positive guy. You know, a real morning person. How many of my coworkers and friends have cringed or rolled their eyes to my “Top o the marning to ya.”
Hear my prayer, Lord; let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress.
For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food.
In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones.
And then night comes, I’ve had dinner and watched a recorded show or a basketball game and it is time to turn in. You are familiar with this time of day. The time when you reflect on your day or sometimes the past. Things said to you or by you, decisions made, certain actions or inaction, missed opportunities, regrets. This is when I am most likely to identify with our friend “102”. I frequently escape to my latest Jack Aubry Master and Commander novel, Clive Cussler adventure or Jack Reacher novel to relax and fall asleep.
Truth be told, as a 60 year old professional who now applies his craft in the civic arena, I am a precariously balanced combination of confidence and aging technical competency with serious doubts concerning my continued relevance, effectiveness and good judgment. I choose to focus on the positive as I have been raised to look at the glass half full, but also I make this choice to “lower my stress” and “reinforce my sanity”. I choose to avoid exploration of my doubts and sorrows like a rabbit hole where I fear I may become lost. And this, I know, has a price relating to my growth. Moreover, it trains me to rely on my own resources as opposed to trusting where God may be leading me.
The season of Lent, as I am learning, offers an opportunity; a discipline to explore those darker, messier, sadder parts of our lives.
To look for those areas of our lives where we may be blind to our self-centeredness. To examine our relationships where we may be second guessing other’s intent, motivations or agendas rather than trying to listen and understand. Facing the fear and uncertainty in our lives and/or tough work on relationships can lead us to true liberation.
Perhaps as symbolized by the untying of the colt for Jesus’ triumphant ride into Jerusalem, we, as persons reserved for relationship and partnership with our loving Lord can join Christ for a redeeming ride. That freedom can redirect us from fretting over our prideful station and responsibility to focusing on the needs of others and on building richer more meaningful relationships.
Are there areas of uncertainty and fear, or tenuous relationships that you need to face?
Perhaps those are concerns that you could offer up to Christ for the Lenten Season.