Friday In the First Week of Lent

A key “swing thought” for Lent is “give it a try.” It is not a bad mantra for life itself — give it a try.

It is not too much to want and to attempt to have a better and closer relationship with God. It is not too much to expect and want to be the person you were meant to be — so give it a try.
Your attempts will not be perfect, you will make mistakes, your attempts will be awkward. You will not be perfect, but you will obtain a special kind of perfection. That is because in all of your failed attempts you will act out of love, and there is nothing greater than love, and by loving you are as real and perfect as a human can be.
So, give it a try. Love the world and all that is in it.

Thursday in the First Week of Lent

Part of every Lent is the admonition to “read and meditate on God’s Holy Word.” In different faiths “God’s Holy Word” has different meanings, but regardless of one’s faith, the reading and meditating on “God’s Holy Word” is supposed to be part of one’s daily routine.

In these days and times of extremely large TV’s in every bedroom, phones and tablets constantly by our side, I suspect in most households reading “God’s Holy Word.” has become low on our totem pole of priorities. Thus the season of Lent helps provide us a reminder of an important part of our faith, whatever faith we choose to follow.
Consider during Lent a daily routine of picking your Bible, your Koran, your Rumi, your Hebrew scriptures, etc. and reading just a few lines and then meditating on how those words apply to your life today. Hopefully some other book of meditations or poetry also is incorporated into your Lenten routine. You will be surprised how much these moments of exploration refresh.
When we fast, we set our heart on God — a daily reminder that our true needs are only met by his grace. When we meditate on “God’s Holy Word” again our heart is set on God — a daily reminder that his words, in whatever form they take, are the spiritual food our soul craves.

Wednesday in the First Week of Lent

I don’t have the courage to suggest the following to Suzy, especially while she’s recovering from shoulder surgery. But I read something about fasting that made sense, and it should apply to my way of life.
As opposed to giving up coffee, or oatmeal raisin cookies, or soft drinks, perhaps I should consider giving up “indifferent eating.” Eating without giving thought to where my food comes from or how it is stored.
For example, instead of giving up coffee perhaps during Lent I should consider whether the coffee I drink is grown by farmers who make a living wage. Should I think about the conditions the chickens who lay my morning eggs are raised in. Should I clean out my refrigerator and give some thought to the way I store food. There are lots of ways giving up indifferent consumption can lead to a more aware life.
Perhaps, if I spent a little more time being “aware” of my consumption, I would become a little more in touch with my “neighbors”, and I would become a better steward of God’s creation. It’s certainly worth a few moments of meditation.

Tuesday in the First Week of Lent

I never could play a musical instrument. I was so bad the one semester I had to be in the band my mother refused to let me practice in the house. I had to go outside and in the cold of winter the mouthpiece to a Baritone is quite cold. Needless to say I didn’t practice enough to understand “fine tuning.” Suzy has taught me that an orchestra always begins a concert by the oboe playing a perfect “A”, and then every instrument tunes to the perfect note.

I was never good enough at golf to need to “fine tune” my game. My golf game needed major surgery. I guess as close as I ever came to “fine-tuning” was when I was a baseball pitcher, and I would spend hours working on the placement of my pitches against the side of my grandmother’s house.
Lent is a time where we “fine tune” our relationship with God. It is so easy for our worldly priorities to cause us to be off-key. We get so busy, we get so self-absorbed, we get so bogged down in minutiae, we hardly notice that our spiritual life has gone slightly flat.
Even the greatest violinist turns ever so slightly the tuning pegs of his Stradivarius to reach that perfect note. Allow those Lenten tuning pegs such as prayer, meditation, fasting, and service bring you back into harmony with that person you are meant to be.