Lent 6: Opportunity

Several things happened on Lent day 6 that made me stop, note my position and search for the direction that God is leading me.  I’ll let two of them remain anonymous.  But the third was the work being done our local Habitat affiliate.  I have the privilege of chairing the Faith Relations Committee at Mon County Habitat.  Since last April, we have tried to construct a presentation to take to local churches about Habitat’s mission.  One of the blessings is the creative and dedicated committee members who come form various sectors, give time monthly and work diligently.  After a false start, we made our first church presentation last month.  It was to a handful of older men at our local Lutheran church.  Last night as the committee gathered for its monthly meeting, we shared positives and needed improvements from the presentation.  Two affirmations came my way that I really appreciated.  One regarded my position as a pastor and how that gained me some respect among the folks we were presenting to.  The other regarded the way I invited that church to participate in Habitat, a skill I have gained as a pastor.

I think that this speaks to the power of Lent.  For all the talk we give of disciplines, too often we fail to point out that the disciplines are a means, not necessarily ends in themselves.  The purpose of fasting is not to be hungry, but to learn greater reliance upon God, to learn solidarity with the hungry and to heighten one’s spiritual awareness.  The self-reflection, when done honestly, can be the most valuable.  When I awoke on Lent day 6, I felt rather comfortable in my station in life.  By the time I had gone to bed, I had had 3 occasions to reexamine God’s calling in my life.  Not a bad Lenten day.

Disciplines scorecard:

1a)  Driving the speed limit–Did rather well, even caught myself a few times before I went over.  4:4

1b)  Foul language–I let a few SBD’s out, but caught myself at other times.  Am looking for alternative words.  2:4

2)  Fasting Lunch–Had lunch with colleagues, which I do not regret.  Did go without a proper dinner.  2:4

3)  Giving up Facebook–Candy.  4:4

4)  Reading–Began Ezekiel.  Niebuhr may never happen.  3:4

5)  Something strictly between God and me–4:4

6)  Visiting parishioners–Had 90mins with a really funny parishioner.  4:4

7)  Guitar–Nope.  1:4

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