Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lent, Day 2: I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again!

My dear Coffee Talkers,

How kind of you to join me on this Lenten journey of daily blogging! When I made my final decision to blog for all 40-plus days of Lent yesterday, I decided to first re-post an entry on the Biblical theology of ashes in honor of Ash Wednesday. I had planned to post something new at night, after putting my kids to sleep. Only, as it turns out, I also put myself to sleep. And did not wake up until morning! Heh. My Lenten resolution was off to a strong start! Two Scripture verses came to mind upon my waking:

"When [Jesus] returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, 'So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?'" (Matthew 26:40)

But then, more consolingly, "It is vain for you to rise early and put off your rest at night, To eat bread earned by hard toil—all this God gives to his beloved in sleep." (Psalm 127:2)

Then this evening, upon our return home, we realized that the "planned power outage to avoid future unplanned power outages" on our block had turned into the unplanned power outage they were trying to avoid. So needless to say, all things related to blogging were not accessible.

But I decided not to let the forces of darkness bring me down (and it was really dark!), and found a place where once again I could see the light. And now that I am in that place, a place where I can once again sing, "I've got the power!" and really mean it, I realize that these small setbacks and unforeseen snags in my resolutions are part of the meaning of Lent.

In Lent, we who take on a voluntary sacrifice and make a willful resolution soon realize that all of our plans cannot come to fruition unless divine providence allows for them. We also take on these sacrifices and practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to prepare ourselves spiritually for trials that we do not choose ourselves, and to train ourselves in a generosity and selfless spirit that can endure even through the hills and valleys of life. In Lent, we get knocked down, but we get up again! Just as Jesus was tempted as he fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, we too face various temptations and adversities, and at each trial from within or without, we have a chance to respond in humility, self-honesty, and reliance on God, and always a chance to begin anew.

How is your Lenten journey going so far? Have you encountered any difficulties or enjoyed any triumphs or spiritual insights? If you have not begun, perhaps now is the time to consider joining millions of people around the world who are joining together in a spirit of prayer, fasting, and giving generously to those in need.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and be assured of my prayers!

Peace and all good,

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