A daily blog throughout Lent? I thought that surely this would be something I could handle. Yet here we are, day 7, and it’s only my second entry! There are excuses (we’re all good at making excuses when we don’t come through on commitments, aren’t we?); there are reasons (how reasonable they are is in the mind of the one who hears them!). How can we be so busy that so many things slip? I asked that question to a friend, recently, who answered that busyness is a tool of the devil which is designed to prevent us from being all God has for us. Being aware of this reality, I realized I was careless in asking the question. I should have asked why we perpetually succumb to the devil’s ways, and allow ourselves to be busy with less important things rather than holding the priorities God has set for our lives. That would have been a better question.
So I’ve been taking inventory. What things occupy my time but don’t need to? How much time do I spend with a computer in front of me (blog and sermon writing, researching, reading)? How much time do I spend with the television in front of me (watching, listening while attending to something else, channel “surfing”)? There isn’t that much time that I could save by trimming the edges off of these things. But there is a little. And a little time here and there, spattered throughout each day, can add up to an hour or so; over the course of Lent, that could end up being over 50 hours total! Which could be viewed as a full work week of hours! What if these moments were commandeered for spiritual growth? for attending to Christian maturation and formation?
A conviction in my heart.
On another note, I have been enjoying the daily offices this last week. Lent begins with Genesis 35, and proceeds through the story of Joseph (yes, the Joseph of technicolour dreamcoat fame!). What a change in his brothers! This morning was Genesis 44, where Judah pleas on behalf of Benjamin. What a difference in those brothers! From, “Joseph’s our brother, the least we can do for him is sell him into slavery…” to “Take me in Benjamin’s place, if I return to my father and he is not with me then he will die. I cannot see him suffer again.” What an incredible story of transformation, as the brothers learn the real ramifications of their actions, the real consequences, and they learn to be responsible because of it. If there’s hope for them, who did not know Jesus’ power in their lives; if there’s hope for them, who did not receive the deposit on God’s promises of the Holy Spirit; well, ultimately regardless of whether there’s hope for them, there is hope for us! Let us attend to God’s ways together!