By Kathy Christianson
Today is the first Sunday in Lent.
I like to refer to this time as the Big Time Out. It’s that time to pause and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going in our faith. It’s like when you go on a trip and on the way home you go over all the events of your trip – maybe remember the way the sun felt on your skin, the laughter, the worry over whether Uncle John was going to tell his dirty jokes or how you felt when cousin Lisa told you that you grow more beautiful with age. During Lent, we have the opportunity to review our spiritual journey.
It’s a fairly common practice amongst many religions to set aside a time for reflection. People of the Jewish faith observe Yom Kippur. Members of Islam participate in Ramadan. The Hindu fast and reflect during Durga Puja. For the Iroquois Indian, their spiritual year begins with the Midwinter Ceremony, also around this time.
When we receive ashes, this tradition is usually accompanied with the words “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” From the time we are born until the time we pass over to the other side, it’s all about the journey. With our greatest reward being able to see the face of God.
As we heard in today’s Gospel, God gives us all that we need for our journey. We are denied nothing. We are given trees which are good for food and they are pleasant to look at. We have connection and shelter in the Tree of Life. From the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil, we are given free will – the ability to choose. To make our own choices as Robert Frost shared with us. Which road are we going to take? I believe we can never take a “wrong” road. The question remains, when we do choose, did we get the results we wanted? Are we any closer to God?
Maybe during this Time Out we can take the time to reflect and ask ourselves:
• Am I the best person that I can be?
• Do I come from Love in everything I do and say?
• Have I taken the Right Road? Is it time to try another path, or is the path that I am on giving me fulfillment and joy?
• Am I closer to God?
It’s never too late to take a different road. If you decide that the direction you’re moving doesn’t fill your soul, if you don’t feel connected with God, take a moment, and choose to take a different road.
For my deacon studies I am now reading the Book of Numbers in the Bible. There is a blessing that I couldn’t wait to share with you. This version of the blessing is from the Book of Numbers in the Torah:
The Lord bless you and protect you!
The Lord deal kindly and graciously with you!
The Lord bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace!
This Lent, please consider inviting God to be with you. Sit with the holy presence. Choose the path that leads you to God.