Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy.

Lent is that season when we, as individuals and as church, take stock of our lives and consider “How’s it going?” Or, as an kid in the backseat might say, “Are we having fun yet?”

For one thing, “Am I too busy to pray?”

What could be the point of such busyness? They tell the story of the lumberjack who was working so furiously that he had no time to sharpen his ax – until they fired him. Despite his good intentions and physical exhaustion, he didn’t cut half as many trees as the fellow who frequently stopped to sharpen his instrument.

When I was a boy, my mother insisted that I should “Go help your Dad.” Occasionally he would ask me to “Kenny, go to the shop and get…” a particular tool. Bored and eager I was off like a shot – even before I knew what he wanted. Eventually he’d have to leave off his work to find the tool himself.

Am I the only one who does that in my service of the Lord too? Before I’ve even heard the Lord’s request, I am doing what I think he might want – to little effect. As the psalmist says:

Unless the LORD build the house,
they labor in vain who build.
Unless the LORD guard the city,
in vain does the guard keep watch.
Psalm 127

The best employers spend time with their employees; they ask about their families, their health, and their interests. They feel uneasy about those peculiar workers who shun the boss’s company.
Our God wants to spend time with us in the pleasure and privilege of prayer. If you’re not having fun yet, it’s time to spend time in prayer.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.