Thursday, February 22, 2007

Into the Wilderness

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

--Robert Frost
from “The Road Not Taken”

By now your Lenten journey is underway. So how’s the wilderness? Do you find yourself wandering aimlessly, or are you tending to find places to rest and watch and listen? No matter where you find yourself or what the terrain of your heart and mind, there will be choices to make. Which direction? What path? Where in the world? When will it make sense? Why do we make such a big deal about Lent anyway?
Just a few days ago, folks gathered around altar rails to be marked with the sign of the cross—in our parish a cross made from the ashes prepared by confirmation students of last year’s Palm Sunday fronds mixed with olive oil for “staying power.” On the Sunday prior, the congregation surrounded with love and prayers two young girls as they received the sacrament of Holy Baptism and were “marked with the cross of Christ forever.” Marked at the beginning of the journey, marked along the way with a reminder of our mortality and human frailty, and reminded in Word, water, bread and wine of the truth of the Gospel, we journey on toward Holy Week and the cross. We journey with Jesus toward death and then to life.
As a Christian, a disciple of Christ, you have already chosen the less-traveled road, and it will make all the difference in the end. Along the way we all find ourselves lured toward other paths that the world claims as better, more pleasurable, and more rewarding. We are tempted to choose another way, perhaps a way that offers the illusion of control. We may wander in circles, we may find ourselves temporarily lost, and we may stumble and fall—weary of the journey. Even so, we are not alone. God goes with us, and grace will lead us home. Each year the forty days of Lent reminds us of this truth in a very real and tangible way.
Blessings on your journey.

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