“Spend enough time in a state of frenetic shallowness
and you permanently reduce your capacity to perform deep work.”
Lent is a time to go deep. The theme chosen for this program year was “Looking Back, Moving Forward, Growing Deeper.” We have done a lot of the first two. We have looked back and celebrated, we have moved forward with decisions, plans and programs, so now we need to focus on Growing Deeper. And Lent is a great time for that. It is also a vitally necessary time. In the past 10 years you know what has happened to our society. We all have become connected and disconnected in unimaginable ways. We have at our finger tips the means to be distracted every waking hour of our day. We have the capability to be connected electronically with people around the world and from every aspect of our lives and yet we are more lonely then ever before.
During the Christian season of Lent, we take 5 weeks to read and listen and sing about Jesus confronting those who misunderstood him. He sets them all straight and he pays for it with his life, on the cross. There are many things you can accuse Jesus of, but one of them is NOT shallowness. Jesus went deep with the people he met. He touched people on the soul level. And it all started with 40 days in the wilderness.
Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, heard the voice of God tell him who he was and from there went into a place of emptiness, the wilderness, the desert. He was alone. And I think that is where you and I do our best and deepest work, when we journey with Jesus in those lonely places. We do deep work when we are not distracted and outraged at the latest insanity. We grow deeper when we allow God to work in and through us. And it begins Ash Wednesday with a reminder that our time is limited.
A wise friend reminded me this week that the Lenten journey is not about progress but process. We goal-oriented types love to make progress but Lent calls us into the process of letting God restore our soul and heal our heart. Do you have something more important to do?
~Pr. Bob Albing