Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What More Can I Say?

Ash Wednesday

I haven't written a post in awhile.

I've been busy to some degree. Things are changing and several facets of life are going through this "hurry up and wait" sort of metamorphosis. I've been kept busy at work on a software implementation project; but that really only explains some of it.

Honestly, I don't have the foggiest idea on what to say that's any newer, different or more interesting than what I was posting before.

I can't be sure, but maybe this is exactly where God wants me right now; with my 'fount of wisdom' emptied.

That's one of the spiritual challenges I have. When one receives and understands knowledge, it is usually required that one shares and imparts the benefits of that knowledge to anyone and everyone interested. Trouble is, it's not like the knowledge or benefits aren't generally known to the public. Further, what each person does with the knowledge and benefits is different and has circumstantial influence. In layman's terms, your mileage may vary.

So here it is. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of another season of Lent; a reminder of sorts of just one description of "why God put me here" - that is, to lay a footprint. That it's not all about me, nor my singular, vertical relationship with God. That relationship is important; but it is not complete without the horizontal relationship - stretching my arms wide open to embrace everything in the path before me. God put all that there, too.

As a child, I was encouraged to 'give up' candy and snacks during Lent so that I could get just an inkling that others go without in a much more serious manner. All it really did was provide the fuel for a huge sugar-induced blowout on Easter Sunday. Still, fifty years later, that sort of logic still pervades, even though some pastors now add the caveat that whatever you give up has to really mean something a bit more long-lasting than just the next 6-1/2 weeks.

Some pastors, particularly in England, have suggested that this year's 'give ups' lend themselves to a 'green' theme; such as turning off all electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, video games, TV) for a full day. And if anyone reading does that with the intention of helping out the planet, you have my sincere thanks and praise.

Me? I think it goes deeper than that.

I joked a few years ago that I was giving up Lent (for Lent) - sort of an anti-establishment, momentarily rebellious streak that occasionally casts a stray thought into my head. (I will not succumb to the notion that this is temptation. There is no balance if the stray thought is not given an audience.)

This year, I am simply giving up. That's it. No object attached.

I'm going to attempt surrender; but not to life itself or even the way I live it. I will attempt surrender to the preconceived "it has to be this way and not that" and lead by allowing myself to be led. Yeah, I know it doesn't sound like it makes sense. But it does. I know it. The points in my life when I allow it to be done in that open way have led to the greatest treasures God could possibly given to me.

At a point in my life when many things ahead are not clearly defined, it's a great thing to have another hand on the steering wheel. There's just nothing more I can say.