I sat with this today and wondered, what does "choose life" look like on my newly-March Thursday? You may ask yourselves the same question today. For me, "choose life" means not to allow myself to be bothered by the things that tend to bother me. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, not judging them, being kind to them. I choose life today by doing the very best job I can do for my clients. I have a very full day and each person deserves the very best me I can give them! Also, I choose to have Jesus ride shot-gun with me all day. Everything I do, everyone I meet, Jesus will give me what I need to love them. And finally, I choose life by letting go of my own ego. It's not about me...this March Thursday. It's about giving glory to God and being grateful for it all. Choose life, my Friends!
"Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God."
Blessings to all on Ash Wednesday! I love this reading because it is such a good reminder that, no matter if we perform the most austere Lenten practice, if we don't offer our hearts to God, it is all for naught. Our hearts must change, not just our habits, diets, deeds. The purpose of Lent is to draw our hearts closer to God and allow God to change them. "A clean heart create in me, O God..." we respond in Psalm 51. It's about our hearts, this Lent. God will help us change them. Let's return to God and offer our hearts for the changing. Let's be open to the many times a day God offers us a chance to love someone and respond to them with compassion. Is there someone we need to forgive or ask forgiveness? Is there someone we are not on good terms? Offering our hearts to God means loving God's people better. It's Lent. Let's try. Love, heidi
"But many that will be first will be last, and the last will be first."
"Pray-As-You-Go" had an interesting question connected to this reading today. It was "Who is 'last' in your life?" I really had to sit on this one but came up with some questions of my own. Who are the people who challenge you the most? People of a different race or religion? People whose politics are the opposite of yours? Gay people, poor people, rich people, alien people? People who don't work? People who do nothing but work? People who cut you off in traffic, or just plain drive you nuts? And, once identified, what are we to do about this? Pray for them, comfort them, walk with them, try to understand them, feed them, give of your own stash to them. We are all challenged by people in our lives every day and God is asking us to love them. They may be the "last" in our minds, but they are the in the front of God's mind. Let's work with God to love them better. Love, heidi
I spent some time, this past weekend, thinking about Lent, which begins Wednesday. I sometimes struggle with Lent, as I'm more of a celebratory, Easter person; but this year, I'm more enthused. I am thinking of it as a chance to let go of some things, while gathering others. If my hands are tightly clinging to things like worry, excessive TV and computer time, shopping, grumbling and judging, I can't gather better things, like silence, prayer, reading, journaling and sharing what I have with others. I'm using the image of letting go of balloon strings (the negatives) and gathering flowers (the positives). I can't gather flowers if my hands are clutching tightly to balloon strings! Whatever Lent offers you this year, make it a special time between you and God. You need it and God wants it...really wants it! Love, heidi