Lenten Reflections: Day 11 - The Not Yet

binocularsMy wife has the gift of planning. She can plan an event down to the smallest detail, thinking ahead to everything that might possibly be needed, and then making sure whatever needs to happen to fulfill that need gets done. It's actually quite incredible to witness this happen, as someone who distinctly does not have that gift of organization. Sometimes I wonder if she has magical binoculars that let her see into the future.

I live in a state of what I like to call "organized chaos." I generally know what I'm doing, and can find things readily enough, but nobody else has a clue. And while I can be organized, and I can certainly plan events, it doesn't come naturally. I can think of situations in terms of problem solving and troubleshooting (if x happens, what is our response?). In fact, I'm very good at it. But ask me if I'm free next Friday and I'll stare blankly at you until I can get a chance to look at my calendar (and pray that it is updated).

I enjoy living in the moment. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I often don't want to get out of the moment. I get lost in thoughts, sucked in to what I'm doing, and I lose track of time. I'm not great at looking ahead. But as a Christian, I live in both the "now" and the "not yet."

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Lenten Reflections: Day 9 - Set Free

Incensoebraico2Tonight, as I write this, I prepare to finally go to bed after a long day. It's been a rough one. I'm emotionally exhausted, physically tired, and about three days behind in my homework. It's not that I'm lazy: there's just a lot of work to be done, most of it reading. Plus, I've had to work on some freelance writing, and work at my on-campus job, among all the other random things I do just so my wife and I can afford to live and go to school. I'm running on fumes.

It really causes me to lash out some times. I'm an introvert, so I don't have very many "people points" to begin with. But these people points dwindle astonishingliy fast when I begin the day stressed out. It's when I stretch myself so thing that I find myself slipping into an even deeper pattern of selfishness and sin. I want what I want, and other people can just move out of my way.

Not only am I running on fumes emotionally and physically, but spiritually I am in rough shape. Then again, are any of us really in a good place spiritually?

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Lenten Reflections: Day 7 - Drawing Near

Vitrail de synagogue Muse alsacien de StrasbourgRules. Are they meant to be broken, or strictly adhered to and enforced? Depending on who you ask, you'll get different answers. There are those of us who, when told what we can and cannot do, take it as a challenge. We don't ignore the rules or boundaries. Rather, we move forward in spite of them, and proving to ourselves and the world that we will not be held back by such annoying barriers.

Others get anxious if the rules even show the slightest symptom of flexing. For these people, driving 66mph in a 65mph zone is unheard of. Showing up mere minutes late is unacceptable, and if an exception is made for anything it opens the door to chaos for all things. They are comfortable being told what to do, and telling others what to do.

The Law of God can be considered a set of rules. While I would argue that they are so much more, that they are really a way of living life the way God intended ,in perfect harmony, I also concede that they can be boiled down to "rules" if one wants to be crass. And humanity doesn't like to follow the rules.

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Lenten Reflections: Day 8 - Revisions

I write stories: short stories, novels, flash fiction, you name it. I have always loved coming up with worlds, characters, and plots that entertain and connect with people. Something I have discovered in my time writing is that revision is a necessary part of the process. But it's also a very painful part of the process.

You see, when I get something out on the page, I get attached to it. I made it. It's part of me. In a (very limited) sense, I (begin to) understand (possibly) what God felt when Adam and Eve turned from his plan. When his creation became something it was never intended to be. That moment when he knew he had to revise the plan.

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Lenten Reflections: Day 6 - A Promise

anchorThis is a trying time for me. My wife and I are both looking for Calls to a church. We are going through the interview process with many churches. It's stressful, and intense, and at times it seems like God is being very convoluted in his plan for us. And so it was fitting that I should read Hebrews 6 today as part of my Lenten journey, because they were words that I needed to hear.

"People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." - Hebrews 6:16-20

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