Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chasing the Wind

I think life is pretty much a tough and demanding journey.

From Adam and Eve being “escorted” out of the garden, Abraham and Sarah hitting the road to Canaan, and Jesus heading toward Jerusalem, life, with plenty of delights and joys along the way, is tough and demanding.

I think that’s the power of Lent – helps us get through the nonsense of America’s infatuation with the “pursuit of happiness” … which is just fine, but who’s ever found it? And what is it in the first place? And if it’s so elusive, so impossible to grasp, then what is it we’re pursuing? I think the framers of our founding documents had something of personal freedom in mind, without church or government telling anyone what to do, and I think that’s a good idea. But I have in mind this image – a dog chasing it’s tail, or a rabbit dashing about, or someone just busting their butt to find something, make something, experience something, buy something, drink and eat something, and when the day is done, going to bed with a haunting sense of emptiness.

Tough and demanding, that’s life. But, then what?

Joshua said to the people, “As for me and my house, we’ll pursue the LORD.”

Or maybe like Mother Teresa: “I’ll pursue comfort for the dying.” Or Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ll pursue justice and civil rights.” Or J.K. Rowling, “I’ll pursue a story of loyalty and bravery and sacrifice.”

Jesus said, “I am with you always.” I like that. The writer to the Hebrews says, “we’re surrounded by a cloud of witnesses” – I like that, too. Folks cheering us on, and Jesus at our side.

When I’m too busy chasing the wind, I outrun Jesus and I leave the cloud of witnesses behind. I’m all alone, and that’s the toughest part of living these days. How alone we can be, and how alone so many folks are at the end of the day.

The Apostle Paul wrote: And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

I think we all end up chasing something. That’s why Lent is a good time to ask, “What is it we’re chasing after?” If life is pretty much a tough and demanding journey, Lent helps us make it count, really count for something.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, those words sum up what my Lenten journey is like this year! And when you add in a parent's need for family support due to aging, it helps me remember to rely on God. He's there with me as I walk into this unknown journey on roads I haven't traveled before. Knowing the strength that comes from my faith helps me move forward.