What are you seeking this Lenten season? Jesus tells us that the one who seeks, finds; the one who asks, receives; to the one who knocks, the door is opened.
When I reflect on Lents that have been more meaningful for me than others, I think the common thread is that I had lower expectations for what I was seeking. If I started off with the idea that I needed to make major changes in my life, almost always I fell short of those objectives. But when I focused on little things that I could do to improve my life, lasting change was much more likely to occur.
On one level it is attractive to pray for changes in our individual lives that might help end poverty, or bring about world peace. But the words of a song from my youth – “Let There Be Peace on Earth” – ring in my head. And the phrase that sticks is “and let it begin with me.” So we can bring about big things only by focusing on the little things. We can personally make changes in the world about us if we make little changes in how we personally interact with that world. We can make big changes in ourselves if we first make little changes.
How is this “Lenten?” Well, to me God is in all things. God calls us in a special way through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. Appreciating the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus gives us the strength to lead our lives in greater consonance with God’s wishes for us. If we are inspired by our reflections on the Lenten scriptures to make changes in our lives, in a direction we feel called by God to take, then we have had a meaningful Lenten experience.
So I invite you (if you haven’t already done so) to reflect on an issue that concerns you greatly at this time in your life. The issue can be something about your personal life or it can be something about your perception of our communal lives. The petition I suggest you use is how you can make little changes in your own life that will address that larger problem. How will you personally act to change your life in ways that will address the bigger concerns you notice? What things can you start doing that you can continue to do and thus create patterns of new ways?
My prayer today is that each of us will be successful in our search, and that we will have the courage to seek, to ask, to knock.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook