Perhaps the 11 most important words spoken in scripture.
Today, of course, is Easter, and I hope you and your families and friends have had a very happy one.
I was reflecting on Lent today, and, truth be told, it was not the most productive of my life. I did have a couple of things I was working on, and they went okay, but I really don't feel like I had any great spiritual moments or grew closer to God in any way. (With the exception of the great retreat I went to a couple Saturdays ago led by the outstanding Father Godwin, who then heard my confession a few days later. Also awesome.) But overall, this was not my most productive Lent of all time.
But I think there's a lesson in that. And I think the lesson is that sometimes God feels really far away. And when He does, we have to remember that God is more than an emotion. He is more than we are feeling at any given time. In The Purpose Driven Life Pastor Rick Warren writes, "During times of spiritual dryness you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions, and realize that he is taking you to a deeper level of maturity. A friendship based on emotion in shallow indeed."
And, truth be told again, the lack of productivity this Lent had a lot to do with my own laziness and my own bad choices and decisions. I was also thinking a lot today about bad choices and decisions and why it seems that I make them all the time. Even when I know right from wrong, even when I know what God would want, I still make bad choices. But then it hit me -- as long as I'm a human being, as long as I'm alive, I will continue to make bad choices and decisions. Because living a human life is living in a constant state of evolving. We will never be truly evolved, and we will never truly grow into "who we are." Because the nature of the life given to us by God is that we will continue to grow and change and make mistakes and learn from them. Accepting God's grace in these moments is what allows us to pick ourselves up and try again tomorrow. And, most importantly for me, it also means that we forgive ourselves for things AND that we let comments made to us by others who would seek to remind us of bad choices we've made go in one ear and right out the other. Just because we made one choice yesterday does not mean we are stuck with it. We are free to change our minds and choose other -- and better -- things.
I'll leave you with this because maybe it'll help you the way it has helped me. Father Godwin told me that guilt over past actions is one of the biggest ways Satan goes after us because if you don't feel good, you can't do good.
|Actually, I'll leave you with this because, cute, right?|