Lent: Day Thirteen

Blogging Lent is turning out to be harder than I expected and I still have twenty seven more days and four Sundays to go. To use a sports analogy, this is like the first wall you hit in running long distances when you have used up all your ready carbs and your body has to pull a changeover to a different fuel system. Once you persevere through the initial difficulty you can settle in again for a good long stretch. All of my routine Lenten questions and observations have been used up and now I am going to have to tap into different reserves to move forward. From here on in things get closer to the bone for lack of a better analogy.

I had a personal spiritual and relational milestone today. You don’t need to know the particulars, but in essence I pulled back and let someone make their own decision without trying to fix the situation. It was good for them and good for me. My wife tells me that I suffer from Saint George’s disease. Whenever I see someone in distress, I want to engage, slay the dragon, and fix the problem. It doesn’t help one bit that my name is William George which could easily translate into defender of the weak and slayer of the wicked. I admit that deep down I do often feel like knight-errant searching for my next quest or chivalrous opportunity.

As a result, the hardest thing for me to do is to step back when necessary and let the situation play itself out, allowing God to work in the hearts of those involved. This means that in the past I have not been as good a listener as I need to be, always too quick with a suggestion or solution or possible course of action, often before those involved are halfway through what they are saying. That is why today was for me a Lenten moment, a spiritual nexus point.

This new step creates another problem, however. There is a certain joy in having done the right thing, as over and against the ingrained patterns you are trying to break. Yet, you have to be careful not to celebrate too much, for pride is the one occasion of sin that carries its own trap, hidden within its broken pieces. It is so hard to maintain your balance, but that is the demand, the requirement, what I need to do.

Remember me your prayers. Remember Terri Schiavo. Pray for repentence for her husband. And for you, grace and peace, and God’s daily providence be yours in abundance.