So due to popular demand, here is my belated Lent Progress report.
NO I have not given up. I have struggled a bit but haven’t stumbled enough to be discouraged…yet. Instead I am filled with humility and curiosity. Each day I am learning more things about myself than I ever imagined. Such a simple challenge has brought so many things to light.
For example, obviously just because I decide to refrain from gossiping doesn’t mean that the people around me are going to be able to do the same. The majority of them probably aren’t paying any attention to what they are doing for that matter. they probably have no clue that they “gossip” nor do they have any idea that they are making things difficult for me by talking about others or worse; asking ME about others. I struggled with what to do in this situation… by all accounts yes, I can pray in these moments and pray to God that I be delivered from this dilema, HOWEVER its not exactly appropriate to bow my head and quietly pray to myself when asked a direct question, nor do I want to be rude in saying “sorry I dont want to answer that because you are gossiping.” I know realistically thats not what I need to say, but I struggled with this non the less.
Today I understood the importance and power in taking a breath; in pausing to carefully choose my words- something I have never been good at. If you know me, you know that although quick with words… rarely do I THINK about what I say before I say it. Today my decision for Lent has led me to this place. Many situations presented me with an opportunity today to take a breath in that moment when an answer is expected and think deeply about my answer. many times in that moment of silence I said a simple prayer and even more amazing many of these silent moments answered my prayers because before I had a chance to respond the direct question I was asked was averted to something else, something about me or them or unrelated. In such a simple moment so many things happened. I felt empowered by it. I felt inspired and encouraged.
I can only hope that your relationship with this 2011 lent season has been just as rewarding if not more… and its only the first week!
I’d also like to take a moment to give up MASS respect to the people of Japan. I could only imagine the feeling of surviving a natural disaster much less searching desperately for missing family and friends. Driving today I suddenly had an image of a giant wave crashing across my path and wiping out everything before me. Some how I made it to a safe zone up on a hill and watched as this massive wave wiped out everything in it’s way. Immediately in my mind I begin taking inventory of who is with me, who was where, what I needed, what I had…. How was I going to reach everyone and make sure they were ok? How would I provide for my children in the coming days…weeks….months?! What if they hadn’t been with me?? To lose my family or friends in such a horrible disaster would break me. I would not survive it. Literally I survived the “disaster” but th devastation of losing those around me would kill me. I love our Country but I do not see us responding to such a state of emergency the way the Japanese people have. So calm, so quiet, so intensely focused. They push on to return to some sense of normalcy, they fight to find each other and come together again, despite the grim odds. Although memories, keepsakes and lives are lost these people continue on with their pride, respect and love for one another. The fight of an 81 year old man who held on to a log to survive the giant wave, somehow found his wife and drug her up to a rooftop and they sat there together for 15 hours waiting for a helicopter…. AMAZING. Every moment of every day my heart is aching for these people. The survivors with their nightmares, the rescue volunteers and their nightmares… I go to bed at night worried what the news my say in the morning. May God be with them ALL.
This video touched me. I hope it touches you too.