We live in a time that is very busy and over scheduled. Many of us are multi-tasking too many things”, i.e., our careers, our families, our relationships with friends, socialization, leisure, even our spirituality-our time with God”. Is it any wonder then, that many of us would feel tired, vulnerable and have a sense of retreating from others, of cocooning ourselves from the world?
Technology can deliver our meals upon request; order up movies, or you can hunker down in your silo and wait for the Apocalypse. These elements can contribute to a person perhaps feeling confined where everything and everyone is stovepiped.
Lent, or the time associated with “the lengthening of days ,“advocates a different way. This season like Advent, advocates for a slower pace where a pilgrim can reflect upon the life and teachings of Jesus and what it all may portend for living now.
M. Craig Barnes, President of Princeton Theological Seminary has written:
“ We need a place with a door on it, where we can honestly describe the condition of our hearts, and intimately seek the heart of God. Lent is the invitation for you to tell the truth to the only one who knows it better than you do.” “http://lent2018.ptsem.edu/february-14/
The challenge here is not only opening up our hearts but opening up our lives to others. There may be those out there who feel like the only reasonable thing to do is to live with the doors closed.
Sometimes closing the door is a good choice, especially if you are trying to get work done in your office. A closed door can indicate that you are busy or that you are temporarily indisposed. However, when people go through their lives, and the majority of the time the doors to their heart and soul are closed to others, it can mean a very lonely existence.
What then could contribute to experiencing a more open sense of self and more of a reality of developing community? Face it, as I mentioned earlier, the forces that draw us into isolation are pernicious.
Having a life where you have open contact with others can be a very good and fulfilling experience. Just having someone call you and inquire how you are doing can have a great curative effect.
The city of Camas, Wa several years ago developed a program called “ Are You Okay ?. If you were a Senior Citizen or disabled, you could call the Camas Police Department and enroll in the program. Every day a dispatcher would call your phone number and inquire if you were alright.
I always thought that this was a wonderful program. It was a great use of tax dollars and let people in that community know that their life mattered, that they counted, that they were important.
Lent again has come and we are beginning the forty-day journey towards Easter. Like Jesus, there may be some time spent in the wilderness for us. But then again, there can be an alternative.
We can live and have a place that has a door on it- a door that remains open and allows for new information, new support and new love to flood our lives.
Our response can be that we, too, can share this new information, new support and new love with others.
It’s our choice, will the door remain open or closed?
I choose to have my door remain open.
How about you ?
May it be so.