Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Lenten Reflection for March 12, 2013

For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. (Psalm 97:9)

The Lord knows our thoughts, that they are but an empty breath. (Psalm 94:11)

“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” (John 6:27)

I once calculated how many days I had been alive. It was easy to do: I multiplied my age in years times 365 (I didn’t bother with Leap Years. It was close enough to depress me anyway). The result was a big number representing a lot of days—more than I’d like to say. The sheer number of sunrises and sunsets that I had passed through bothered me less than the realization that I remembered very few of those days.

Oh, I could grab a memory here and there, but there was not one waking day that I could recall in its entirety. Even if I tried, such a day would be cobbled together with shreds of other days, a Frankenstein day that never worked quite rightly.

Where do thousands of days go in the life of a human being, days that seem so vital and important at the time but then are gone like a mist in the afternoon sun? Where do the conversations, the ideas, the drama, the thoughts go to die as soon as they are experienced?

The psalmist declares that the Lord—the One exalted above all gods—knows our thoughts, even though, in the end, they don’t amount to all that much. I’d like to believe that my thoughts are important, that I have ideas that need to be communicated to others so that the world can be a better place and everyone will know that I’m brilliant and amazing. I want my thoughts to amount to something.

But, when it comes right down to it, my thoughts are only an empty breath. Yet, even at that, the Lord knows them. That needs to be enough.

Feeding on my own thoughts does not inspire spiritual nutrition. The Lord knows my empty-breath thoughts, but is gracious enough to share his thoughts with me, if only I’ll listen.

I need to pay attention to this. I suspect that we all do.

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