Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Laying Down my Ideas...

These are difficult days. We have finally succumbed to COVID-19. There is an actual war being waged on the other side of the world. And today is Ash Wednesday. A day to remember our humanity and come face to face with our sin and mortality. Yet, I don't know about you, but I am all too aware of my limits, frailty, and humanity this year. We are on day 12 of isolation and my grace and patience started to wear thin, so I decided this is the perfect day to reorient myself. I have always loved Lent. We have tons of old blog posts with my thoughts and our family traditions if you want some inspiration. 

We began 2022 with energy, hope, and lots of people attending Bible study. But as the weeks passed, we canceled more events than we hosted and even the ones we offered were sparsely attended. It is easy in those moments to listen to the lies that you aren't doing a good job and that the slow ways of Jesus just don't work. But we've been at this for a decade and I refuse to let the tempter play that card with me. I will teach a fitness class with just one student. I will receive the gift of no one coming to Bible study as an extra night to spend with our children. On a walk with Jesus, He reminded me that He isn't in a hurry, that building something which lasts isn't an overnight miracle, and that just because it feels like we aren't doing much doesn't mean He isn't working below the surface. And so I offer that same encouragement to you- the pace of love is slow, building the kingdom doesn't happen overnight, and He is at work beneath the surface as you wait on Him. 

I am burdened for Ukraine. There is a weariness in my bones and my mind from dealing with COVID-19. Our hearts break for students at Asbury who are hurting, lonely and exhausted. AND those are the very reasons I must slow down and fill my days with beauty, connection, and intercession. The three main disciplines of lent are fasting, giving and praying. This lent I am laying down my ideas of effective ministry. I am giving my attention to the things that matter by building beauty and connection into our days. And I am praying His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

This quote from C.S. Lewis has been ringing in my heart this week: "
If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

What do you need to lay down, to whom do you need to give, and what is the prayer on your heart this Lenten season? 


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