Lent — Out of the passing lane

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In our 21st century life, we like to live at warp speed.

Call it “multi-tasking”, but “distracted living” might be a better description. We eat AND watch television, instead of OR. We drive and talk on the phone, illegally. We go to class and text message — so much so, that the schools are cracking down.

And, at church, we also write a grocery list in our head, or ponder our golf handicap, or whatever. 

Multi-tasking makes for shallow living. We can do a lot at the same time, but none of it goes very deep...and there is a cost. Albert Schweitzer once said that “your soul suffers if you live superficially.”

Moments of grace, epiphany, insight, are lost to us because we are in such a hurry.

Jesus Christ, savior of the world, savior of our life, the peace that we pray for, can stand right in front of us and we will never even notice. Like those puzzles where you try to find 10 animals in the picture. They’re all there. Looking right at them. Nothing more is needed to see them except...to see.

Hopefully, we want to experience deeply the spirit of God. Want my life to count. I do not want to get to the end of this earthly journey, taking my last breath, and find out I was too busy or bored or distracted to hear God’s still, small voice.

We should not want to be too pre-occupied to “wait here and watch with me,” as Jesus asks. There is too much of real value to do. Too much of the holy around each of us to ignore. Too much yet for us to discern in the study of God’s word, in the reflection of God’s presence in the world around us. There is too much conversation with God through a life of prayer that is still left unspoken. Too much yet that God wants to self reveal to us. 

All in good time.

Lent is a great time to remind us to back up, and take that time. There is plenty of God’s work to do here. We can volunteer and help, we can study and learn, and we can worship and praise God. We can invite people to worship, lend an ear to listen, care about others and then name the reason as our faith in Jesus Christ...which means that we have to pay attention.

Drop the distractions. Quit the distinctions. Prune away the busyness. Take care of our spiritual health by turning inward for the exercise of the soul and the strengthening of our relationship with God, so we can turn outward into the world around us. As Jesus does — continuing his work in Lent. 

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