Monday, March 14, 2011

The Lenten Experience - Wisdom & Understanding

OK, this is interesting. Someone told me "You really should get up earlier and post your blog before everyone gets up in the morning. That way I can read before I head out to work."

Sorry... I really do love "the reading public", and I certainly appreciate the feedback I get from those who find my blog posts inspirational; but this is my on-line journal (and you are all more than welcome to read over my shoulder), and that's not the same as a subscription service.

The scripture that's on my mind this morning comes from Proverbs 2:1-5:
  • "My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding; if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures-- then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God."
I believe the thrust of this passage is a key element of the Lenten Experience - or at least it needs to be. Worship yesterday at First Presbyterian here in Brandon was inspirational, yes, but it was also deeply thoughtful. Pastor Tim Black talked about Friday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan, acknowledging our need for insight and understanding and building that sense of struggle into the tough questions that dotted the landscape of his message.

Understanding that there are no "one-size-fits-all" answers to difficult questions is critically important to engaging this journey to Holy Week and the Passion of Christ. Yes, it's true that "Jesus is the answer", but Jesus is always the question too. I appreciate the phrase "My soul is restless until it finds its rest in you (God)." There is a sense in which (first) being restless is an important part of finding our rest.

What happened - and is happening - in Japan is a contributing cause to my spiritual restlessness. My desire to grow in faith is a form or restlessness. My commitment to discipleship emerges out of restlessness. Paying attention to being restless is a step in the process of moving closer to God.

God is with me, profoundly, on this journey. But this is a real world experience, lived out in the context of brokenness, pain, sickness, catastrophe, rebellion, sin... all the elements that define "the human condition". It is precisely here, where the world so often hurts, that I am "finding the knowledge of God" (Proverbs). I have to ask questions, and cry out for insight, and search for understanding as for hidden treasures.

God is faithful, I know that more completely every day. But it is a constant process.

Peace on the journey - DEREK

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