Friday, February 24, 2012

Thoughts from the woodshed

"The garbage in most of our lives is the relentless anxiety and agitation created by the fear that we will not get enough of the world's goodies to feel safe, secure, and turned on."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

Oh. My. Goodness. We're being taken to the woodshed here, this first Friday of Lent. And you know what? Brennan Manning is right. How much of the rhetoric do we hear is so much about what we should get, what we deserve, what is due us? How much less is about what we should be doing for others? Lent is a time for us to concentrate on helping others, not what we should get ourselves. If we sacrifice somewhere in our lives, that sacrifice should show up in another person's cupboard. In today's first reading, God takes the Israelites to the woodshed, too, saying through the prophet Isaiah, "This, rather is the fasting I wish...sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless..." (Isaiah 58:6,7) We need to let go of the "what's in it for me?" attitude and direct our focus to serving others. In turning a phrase from JFK, "Ask not what others can do for you, ask what you can do for others." Love, heidi

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