contributed by Kyle
I signed up to contribute a post or two here on this blog, but until right now I had no idea what I was going to write or do. I sat and thought and nothing came to mind. I read and reread the posts as others put them up, and still nothing came to mind. Instead of giving me ideas, they actually made me a mite nervous, because I realized that I wasn't really participating in Lent this year, and perhaps I was therefore disqualified from writing a legitimately Lent-ish post. I decided then that I was going to write about how I had forgotten lent this year, but that God still loved me. Cute, but honest.
All seemed well with this idea, until my afternoon run. You see, my afternoon run is my thinking time, and today while pondering The Lent Project I realized that not only was I not participating in Lent, but this year I was almost doing the opposite. Instead of fasting from something in order to draw closer to God, I have been pulling away from him by filling my face with more earthly things than I have for many a season.
Here's the thing. Andrea (my wife) and I just bought a townhouse, and I think Lent started sometime during the week we were negotiating the many turbulent waters of getting approved for a mortgage. That's strike one. I missed the start. Strike two came with acceptance of said mortgage, and it was on that day that the trouble really began. All of a sudden we had a clean slate for decorating and rearranging, and ideas started to bubble up like a bottle of soda when you first open it. We chattered back and forth like two school-girls about what sorts of things we could do with the space, (Andrea with the distinct advantage of having once been a school-girl), and one by one new pieces of furniture entered the plans. First stools for the bar at the kitchen. Then a loveseat to fill the much larger living space. Then bicycles for riding on the many trails in our new neighbourhood. Then we started to think about new jobs and that whole process, and this growth continued until my brain was spinning every waking moment, and probably most of the sleeping ones too.
As I ran back home along the shore of Jericho Beach, I noticed a group of small birds singing in a tree near the water. Immediately I thought of Luke 12, one of my favourite passages. I thought of the part where Jesus says, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them” (v. 24) How strange that I hold this as one of my favourite passages, yet here I am, engaging in antithetical behaviour. I guess I don't quite get it yet. I have reviewed this passage countless times in my life, and have probably spent almost as much time dwelling on it in the past 4 years as I have for the rest of the Bible put together. It's a gas station for the vehicle that is my faith, and I go back to it time and again when I'm running low.
But I think maybe that's just it, isn't it? I read this passage when I face problems or when I am hurting. What I need now is the foresight to look here when times are good, as they seem to be for me right now. Maybe this lent season should be less about me giving things up and more about me taking on a careful meditation of this simple teaching from the Good Teacher. Hmmm. There's a lot to chew on here...
So where does all this leave me? Here I am, sitting at my computer in my running shorts, covered in the salty residue of sweat from my afternoon jog, and now, pondering something new.