Lent 3: Turn Around

Well…I started the day in the ditch, and ended up with the nicest, clearest driveway within miles.  One of the trips that pastors get caught up in is the popular attitude that what we do is not work.  Even my mom jokes me on this.  So we try to compensate by taking on tasks that are beyond our capabilities.  I am a very good big-picture guy and I think in macro-terms first.  I do well on the opposite side: doing well one-on-one and am astute pastorally.  It is the in-between realm that I struggle.  I tried to compensate by doing a lot on my own and by taking on more than I can handle.  For instance, there are lots of pick-ups with plows on the front driving back and forth in front of our house.  Yet, I spent two weeks trying to tackle a colossal snow storm with just me and my shovel.  Ask for help dummy!

So I began Friday trying to finish Thursday’s unfinished business, namely getting my car out of a ditch in my own driveway.  When the winch pulled my car about 18″ and I ascended out of the offending crevice, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I exited the driveway and was able to have a day.  Through the power of the telephone, I was able to get the church lot cleared and some stranger to clear our driveway.

Amazingly, after weeks of gray and grit, the sun came out.  Like magic, life just seemed to return.  I laughed more, drove around, got ready for Sunday and generally enjoyed being out.  Upon returning home, I could not believe how great a job was done on our driveway.  I felt…superior.  Not really the appropriate spirit for Lent, but I looked around at all my neighbor’s driveways and realized I had it best.  Now, I realize that none of us helped each other, either.  That is the insight that only comes from honest reflection.

I also began tackling a grand problem…a very messy basement.  Sometimes it just takes a little bit of sunshine to turn the tide.  It didn’t fix my problems, but it did fix my attitude.

Friday’s Lenten Discipline Scorecard:

1a) Driving the Speed Limit:  Doing this better.  This is easy on the interstate, hard on 25MPH zones.  3:4

1b) Foul Language:  Not good while driving.  1:4

2)  Fasting Lunch:  Did not have lunch, but did not pray or make this a spiritual thing.  3:4

3)  Facebook Free:  Yes!  4:4

4)  Reading:  Looked at the first page of Niebuhr.  Not good enough.  1:4

5)  One strictly between God and me:  Yes.  4:4

6)  Visiting Parishioners:  Will begin Sunday.  1:4

M talked to me about how to score #6.  Home visits are the ideal, but phone calls are definitely acceptable.  So making phone calls will earn me some points, but not enough to excuse me from home visits.  Overall, a day that was okay.

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