Written by Jeff Benson
I must confess that I am a rather impatient person.
I am someone who finds great joy in skipping commercials, finding the best shortcuts, and reducing the amount of time I have to spend doing something. This also means that I get bored easily, and will often try to find other things to help fill that self-created void that came from not living the process. I find that far too often this is something to be said about how we handle Lent as well. Often we start strong and introspectively examine our lives as we march towards the cross with Jesus. However, this upcoming week may be the hardest time to do that despite how often times many churches will host multiple services throughout this week. If you’re anything like me, this week is the time to grow impatient with Lent, to wish that it would just be over so we could go back to our “normal” lives.
It’s funny our desire for “normal” and how even sometimes in our Christianity we hope that we can maintain some “status quo” with our lives and the people around us. Funnier still, though sometimes Jesus calls us to live in the simple mundanity of life, this does not mean that Jesus calls us to remain at equilibrium with ourselves until the end of our lives. Some of the most inspirational people I know are the ones who, despite all outward appearances of having “arrived”, are still fighting their own struggles and continually listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd to refine them.
There is nothing to say this is at all easy of course. Often times (myself included) there seem to be more questions than there are answers to our lives. However, the posture of our hearts ought not be impatient with seeking the answers about how we are to be made more like Christ. A meditation from the Celtic Daily Prayer writes:
Live the questions now,
Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually,
without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
So I’ll circle this back around to this upcoming week, where if I’m being honest I just want Lent to be over so that I can return back to my little slice of “normal life”. But then I’m drawn back to how I thought these same things last year, and “normal” had a very different meaning then. Perhaps then, it is by living into Lent and continuing to align ourselves with Christ that we slowly are moved into being what He wants us to be. This is the long-form life that Christianity takes on. While radical change certainly is valuable and worthy of praises to God, there is something to be said about the slow change that is brought about by simply following in obedience to the Good Shepherd and relying on His patience to fill the void where I am impatient.
May we live our way into the answers our soul longs for, ever aware of the Good Shepherd’s voice.