One of the major challenges many of us face in life is the ability to focus – to concentrate our energy and attention on a limited number of things. For many of us, life provides us few opportunities to focus on one thing at a time. In the first place, we are busy people: there are many demands on our time and energy. It starts young: because we want our children to be well-rounded and because advancement to higher education demands much more today than good grades, our children constantly juggle academic work, sports, church, music, special interest activities, service days, and more.
In the second place, the variety of our technological opportunities makes multi-tasking almost expected. We sit in a meeting but we are also checking email and social media. We are stuck in traffic, so we get on the phone. We are on the computer but have several screens open at once moving back and forth between work and personal communication.
None of those things is bad. It’s great for young adults to have multiple opportunities to learn and grow; to discover who they are and what they are good at. It is hard to imagine our personal lives let alone most types of work without access to electronic communication. But all of these good things make another good thing very difficult: the ability and opportunity to focus.
Lent is the season of the year when we are invited to focus – to go deeper into our faith. In particular, we are invited to reflect on who Jesus Christ is, what it means that he was called to suffer and die and rise again, destroying the power of sin and death. If Jesus is our window into the heart of God, how do his living and dying and rising help us go deeper into our relationship with God?
Where to start? Start simply. Find five minutes each day to sit and focus on that question. Re-read last Sunday’s scripture passages. Read the passages for the Sunday to come (which you can find on the website). Read the Lenten devotion for the day (the booklets are at church or you can ask the church office to sign you up to receive one meditation every day from now until Easter). Read. Reflect. Be quiet. Expect God to be present to you. Listen. Rest in God. Go deeper. Meet God who is ready to meet you.
Cynthia M. Campbell, Pastor