I have been reading, this year, a daily devotional book written by Frederick Buechner. Among his accolades, one of his assertions that I find most intriguing about him is his firm belief that God's hand is at work in our daily lives; that the divine appears for each of us each and every day.
This passage from Buechner is entitled "Lent" and is the entry for February 26th:
"In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year's income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year's days. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.
If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a god or whether there isn't, which side would get your money and why?
When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?
If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less?
Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?
Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?
If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?
To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business, all in all, but if sack cloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end."
As you walk the Lenten Labyrinth consider Beuchner's questions, and add following to reflect upon:
What in your life can be transformed from "sack cloth to Easter" during Lent (and after)? How? How do you find, see or feel God's hand at work in your life?
· A broken relationship?
· The loss of a job or financial disparity?
· Awaiting a diagnosis?
· Loss of a loved one?
· An important decision to make?
· Unable/unwilling to forgive?
How will I make this transformation?
· Make a risky or scary move?
· Seek support from others?
· Read the Bible?
· Join a Bible study or group such as the "Living Your Strengths" book study?
· Commit to trusting God?
· Do some volunteer work?
· Walk the Labyrinth?
· Reach out to someone?
"Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings" ---Psalm 61: 1-4