I often wonder about life.
Why we exist.
What our purpose is.
Whether we should seek change through our actions or wait for God to act.
Why we spend so much time preparing for the future and forget to live in the moment.
For the February newsletter, I wrote up an article about preparing ourselves.
We live in a world where we receive warnings that may be ignored or heeded.
Totally up to each one of us.
Some days I prefer the ignorance and denial. I would rather simply wait and see what will happen in life.
Other days I prefer to heed the warning and start preparing. I make lists and try to predict the future events.
But today I find myself just thinking.
I’m not preparing for the future.
I’m not pretending that warnings don’t exist.
Yes, I still plan and prepare and pretend.
But I also sit and reflect.
Over the last couple days, I have received a few compliments for my short article in the Feb 2013 TCM newsletter.
And while it is not unheard of to receive compliments, I ponder what exactly speaks to people.
I’m curious what exactly connects with people.
I’m curious if it is a new thought or one they encountered new ones.
I’m curious how the words affect lives.
I know that whatever I write or speak will not matter unless the Spirit is active.
When God gets involved, words contain much more power.
And that seems to be the case yet again.
Here are the words I wrote early one morning (the text arrived at 4:51 am and I wrote this article before going back to sleep):
Recently I was woken up in the wee hours of the morning when my phone started making a weird noise. Since I was sleeping, I was confused enough to think it was dying. But it turned out that it was a message to warn me about a blizzard. It would not disappear until I confirmed that I read the warning. I literally had to click a “Confirm” button so that I could go back to sleep.
One line of this warning was literally “Prepare.” This got me thinking about the warnings that Jesus gave to his disciples to prepare themselves for the danger and death that was to come. During Lent we prepare ourselves as we think about the reality of death starting with Ash Wednesday and are faced with Jesus’ death on Good Friday. Lent is a very somber time and yet is very honest. I could compare the somberness of Lent to a warning from a meteorologist who is trying to warn us to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. Jesus warned his followers who lived in denial, and I can understand. Few people to spend their life preparing only for the worst. I myself do not like living my whole life in such a state of preparation, but for a short time each year, I am honest about danger and death. Most of the time we prefer to prepare and plan for the good things in life, and the list most definitely does not include betrayal, beatings and death upon a cross.
The reality of our world is that bad things do happen. We have blizzards, extremely cold temperatures, ice and countless other weather phenomenon that can threaten our safety. But we can prepare when we are warned. The same applies to us preparing for the reality of Jesus’ death. Jesus’ warnings unsettled the followers who ought to have had a “Confirm” button so that Jesus could know that they paid attention to the warning. They had to know that the danger would not go away even if they ignored it.
Lent is coming in a few short weeks. We are being warned yet again of how messed up our world can be. Some of us will decide to make sacrifices or seek to change habits. Others will live in denial. But at the heart of the whole season is a warning that comes to us again, telling us that bad things are going to come, but also reminding us that God can see us through even the worst that this life can throw at us. We can prepare ourselves so that when the time comes, we won’t be shocked but can learn to live with the reality of mortality and be at peace.
Prepare yourself. Please confirm.
Peace, Pastor Kara