From Pastor Mike,
I am a child of the quick fix generation. I didn't start out that way. The world I grew up in didn't even have copiers, I had to do the first bulletins as a Pastor on a manual typewriter and a hand cranked mimeograph machine (I can still smell the correction fluid!). The first copier I had in a church did 4 copies a minute and I was amazed! There were no microwaves, food was more slowly cooked, in fact I don't even think there were instant grits.
Today I get frustrated if it takes over 2 minutes to pop my popcorn, or thirty seconds to make my coffee hot again. The piece of paper should print immediately, if the printer is slow I find myself frustrated, and God forbid the internet is slow. I want my information right now, not a couple of minutes from now. Twelve minutes is more than enough time to nuke a potato, can't we do this faster? And a week shipping? No way, now I can get my stuff (which I really don't need) delivered to my house in less than two hours from Amazon just by telling Alexa I want it!
Wednesday March 6 is the beginning of the 40-day (not counting Sundays) journey of Lent as the family of God walks toward Easter. Walk is the right word. This is time to slow down, to patiently reflect on the grace of God that walks toward a cross and our lives in response to that love. It is time of patience and introspection. Lent is a time to be reminded of who we are called to be in light of the blessed incarnation of the Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end and everything in between).
This year, I am encouraging you instead of giving up for Lent, to take on for Lent. What would happen if each of us took on a goal of 45 minutes of focused quiet prayer each week apart from distractions. This time would be mostly quiet time, reflective time, and some verbal prayer. We could split it up however we wanted to, 45 minutes at a time, 5 minutes a day, 15 minutes 3 times a week, or whatever. In that time, our faith has the possibility to grow, our vision can be changed, and even our hearts enlarged (in a good way!).
This is just a thought ... think about it! But regardless of how you spend Lent, I hope and pray this is a time you are reminded of the unfathomable grace and love our Lord has for you and your loved ones.