Monday Musings for 3.1.21

 

Dear Friends,

Here’s what we’ve given up so far for Lent:

1) Complaining.

2) Comparisons.

3) Striving ambition

4) People pleasing.

5) Not accepting the experience of others as true.

6) Self-centeredness.

7) Neglecting self-care.

8) Anxiety and worry.

That’s a lot.  Can you handle two more?

9) Give up not savoring the moment.  We are grieving today with Steve Tollefson, his sisters Kathy Huff, Nancy Nishikawa, and the Tollefson family.  Steve’s wife Vicki died last week of a sudden and massive stroke.  We all know unexpected things like this could happen to any of us at any time.  We also know that, in the long run, death is not unexpected.  It happens to all of us.

We can try not to think about this.  Or we can think about this excessively.  Far better to savor each and every moment.  “This is the day” — this is the moment! — “the Lord has made.  Let’s rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

I am going to stop working on this and take a pause right now. I invite you to do the same . . . Breathe in . . . Breathe out . . . Think about your life . . . Think about those you love . . . You have had many blessings in the past.  You will have many blessings in the future.  But you can’t live in the past.  And you can’t live in the future.  You can only live in the present.  Right now.  Rejoice. Be glad. Live. Love.

10) Give up living as if God does not exist.  Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of “practical atheism”.  What he meant was living as if there is no God.  We pay lip service to God but not life service.  We live as if it is really all up to us.  We may mumble a quick prayer now and then, but God is really an afterthought, not the center of our lives.

Lent is about Jesus.  In our “Jesus 101” sermon series we have seen that God came to us in that man named Jesus.  He spoke and acted as if he was in charge.  He was.  He is.  He is Lord.  But is he your Lord?  Not theoretically, but practically.  Do you have a relationship with him that is strong and growing and is the most important relationship of your life?

Lent is traditionally the season to give things up.  We’ve looked at ten possibilities.  But what it all comes down to is this: If we are really serious about following Jesus, whatever is getting in the way of that has to go.

In Christ,

John