Skip to main content

Ash Wednesday: This winter of our discontent for our soul

"Homesick" - flickr member Artful Story
We should be discontent. We should be uncomfortable.

Our lives should feel like we just walked into the wrong party. We don't know anyone, we're dressed wrong, the food stinks, and the people are obnoxious.

We don't belong.

We are not supposed to be here.

This is not our party.

"My Kingdom is not of this world."

If we belong to Christ, then His Kingdom is ours. And that Kingdom is not this world. We're here as visitors, passing through, uncomfortable, out of sorts, trying to stumble through a foreign culture. We're the folks with the fanny packs, the knee socks with sandals, mispronouncing words on the menu as we whip out our English-to-whatever translator.

Lent is our time to pack, prepare. We're trying to get everything ready for our trip to the Kingdom. We've got a check list (we will - of course - forget something....) We know that there is a lot to do to get ready and we're already exhausted, even though the journey has just begun.

But we can't get to the Kingdom without this journey. This journey prepares us for everything that comes after.

This isn't our party. But we take off our coats, smile, take a nibble of the strange food, and make friends. Because even though we don't belong here, they don't either...only most of them don't know it. It's our job to tell them. Invite them along on the journey, be their tour guide and a good traveling companion.

"My Kingdom is not of this world." Thank God for that. And I sure hope I get my passport stamped by St. Peter one day.

Good Lent to you all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…