"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lent - Day 23

”Let us search and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)

The main purpose of my yearly observance of the Lenten season is the verse for today. In all honesty, and despite my best attempts, my spiritual life becomes a bit muddled and smudgy over a year’s time. Will you be honest enough to admit that, too? It would sure help me to know that some of you that I look at and see a life of holiness and spirituality all the time also falter along the way. At least occasionally. Once in awhile? I am not meaning that neither you nor I turn away from God and begin living a depraved life, but that sometimes we just aren’t quite in sync with God the way we want to be. Or should be. Or need to be.
As I’ve mentioned before, when I worked for a local newspaper, there were quite a few times where I would find myself at events, meetings, etc. where I would start to think, “What in the world am I doing here with these people?” “I don’t belong here.” “What does God think about all this?” The process of gathering and reporting news can quite easily jade oneself into feeling that all politicians are corrupt and self-serving – not true! That most non-profits are mishandling funds – not true! That people are just out for themselves and will throw you under the bus if given half a chance – sometimes true (but not always)! I’d find myself accepting the behavior, language, habits, conversations, jokes, and so on of the people I was around. This, my friends, was a dangerous thing for me. It was affecting my thoughts, my attitudes, my witness, my spiritual walk, all of me. And, after a season, I began to notice the change less and less.
During the season of Lent, is where I have always focused on getting myself back in line with my God. Jehovah. Father. I try to honestly examine areas of my life and attempt to purge the unclean elements and purify what remains. During this particular season, I have made major unexpected changes, but God’s timing is always right….even when it seems odd to me. And I’m coming Home – meaning back to a place where God and I can connect easily. A place where I can laugh all the way from my toes and feel pure joy. Joy that comes from God. A place where I can relax, exhale and feel…well, feel good. Home.
Now, I challenge you to begin to examine your ways. Are there places, people and attitudes that you need to leave behind so that you can come Home? Are there unhealthy relationships that you should turn from as they can strongly affect your healthy relationship with God? I can promise you one thing. It’s not easy to do, but if you go with God’s strength and determination, you can make the changes and begin to refocus your life. To breathe freely again. To feel the joy again. Kick your shoes off and just relax again?
Isn’t it time for you to come Home?

Blessed be the name of the LORD!


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