Feb. 16, 2013
Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way.
As much as I would like to say that I really practice what I write or speak about, reality is so much different. I’m trying to remove distractions this Lent. But the adding has been a bit more difficult. Does writing something for the blog count? Even when it is at 11 PM at night?
For me, this is one of the struggles of the Christian life. When is enough ever enough? I have become convinced the Christian journey is not purely about a “to-do” list, which we either cross off or get discouraged because too many things didn’t get accomplished on a particular day. I don’t envision a modern-day Jesus carrying around a Franklin Planner or an I-phone with blocks of time carefully scheduled throughout the day.
Yesterday, we got the two oldest grandsons for a few days. Enroute to get them, I asked Rick what types of things he planned on doing with them. The scheduler in me was coming out. On the other hand, Rick runs more by the seat of his pants, deciding on a whim what to do. Of course, we want to engage in the things the boys were looking forward to. That’s why sledding moved to the top of the list. Yet, picking out stones for tomorrow’s worship service became a wonderful time of wondering around the farm with Grandpa sharing and explaining history, agriculture and his story that the boys would have other not discovered.
I do think at times, Jesus had specific things in mind he wanted to do, say and engage. But was every parable carefully planned out in advance? Or did sometimes they just come about because of location, folks who entered Jesus life or happenstance events? I know this gets into a theological question of how much God has planned for our lives in advance and how much impact we have in making our down decisions. In the end, I’m quite confident that Jesus walked a tightrope balance between knowing exactly what was going to happen vs. taking advantage of teachable moments as they unfolded.
I pray this Lent that we can allow ourselves to do some planning and yet allow for the Holy Spirit to drop some completely unexpected and quite marvelous situations into our laps. In my opinion, we learn best within the context of the real lives we live. Thanks be to God for allowing this.
It is just a few days into Lent and maybe we are already questioning our commitment and application. Too often, we are probably harder on ourselves than You are with us. May we use Jesus’ ministry and model as a guide for daily living with you. Amen.