How’s the lenten journey going for you, fellow pilgrim? Do you ever wonder if you’re wasting your time on your lenten vows? It’s a question I asked myself recently; it’s a question I ask myself all the time, not just during Lent. I got to thinking about if Jesus ever wondered if he was wasting time being the Savior of the World? A quick survey of the gospel readings reveal that Jesus seemed to always be on his way to somewhere or leaving somewhere; entering and departing the circumstances of the human condition. A familiar phrase from the gospels goes something like this, “While they were on their way…” We know Jesus got tired; he wearied of people’s refusal to see things the way he saw them; got angry with hypocrites; and wept over people’s suffering. And we know Jesus often parted company with people to retreat into prayer. I wonder what he and our Heavenly Father conversed about during those prayer retreats; we can only imagine.
When questioned by the spectators of his life, he would reply that he was doing the will of the Heavenly Father. It follows that Jesus would never have doubted how he spent his time. It was the Father’s will to incarnate himself into our humanity; therefore, it was the Father’s will that he invested the entirety of his mind, body, and spirit in us! That just blows my mind! Every word that came out of Jesus’ mouth was motivated by the Father’s will! Perhaps when I stop questioning if I’m wasting my time, I will live all of my life as Jesus lived his life, and every word I speak or don’t speak will invest in God’s will. Rather than thinking interruptions and delays are a nuisance, I would see them as opportunities for investing in every little movement of my life. The here and there and to-and-fro of my life would become an investment of thanksgiving. Wouldn’t that be something?! To live and move and have my being in the will of my Beloved Father!
There are some questions I’ve started asking the LORD lately about doing his will as I’ve been meditating on the Sacred Scripture readings for our Lenten season.
When I fret or get angry over circumstances beyond my scope as your beloved daughter; am I wasting my time rather than investing trust in Your will? You answer, “Love righteousness…think of [my] goodness and seek me with integrity of heart.” (Wisdom 1:1)
When I insert myself beyond my rightful place as a child of God; am I wasting my time rather than investing obedience to Your will? You answer, “A jealous ear hearkens to everything, and discordant grumblings are not secret. Therefore guard against profitless grumbling, and from scoundrel mongering withhold your tongue.” (Wisdom 1:10-11)
What do I invite into my mind, body, and spirit when I waste energy on pursuits other than investing in Your wisdom? You answer, ‘Learn wisdom…for when you revere the holy precepts, you will find holiness…desire my Word; long for it, and you will be instructed.”
Who do I think is a waste of time? Do they need my emotional investment? You answer, “Beloved daughter, regard the life of the poor [in spirit]; do not keep needy eyes waiting. Do not grieve the hungry [in spirit]….do not turn your face from the helpless…in their pain, they cry out bitterly…listen to them for me.” (Ben Sira 4:1-4)
Am I wasting emotional energy on this relationship; it wears me down. They don’t care about what I have to say; why bother? You answer, “Beloved, ..let no one intimidate you…do not refrain from speaking at the proper time, and do not hide your wisdom…even to death, fight for what is right, and I will do battle for you…Do not let your hand be open to receive, but clenched when its time to give.” (Ben Sira 4: 23-31)
LORD, your very presence invests peace, love, acceptance, forgiveness, mercy, grace! You were always inviting us to join you on the way of abundant life here and in eternity. Every person, every circumstance, every suffering you encountered was an investment on our behalf! Jesus, you are still investing us with your Holy Spirit’s power to go and do likewise. Grant us new eyes to see, new ears to hear, and new hearts to love.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, it is now, and ever shall be, world without end.