Have you ever felt far away from God? Perhaps your life was going along wonderfully, right according to plan. Then, without warning, everything started to fall apart. You lost your job. Or you were diagnosed with cancer. Or your spouse asked for a divorce. Or . . . you name it. In desperation, you cried out to God, but it felt as if God didn’t hear you or didn’t care if he did hear.
Today is Holy Saturday – the day between Good Friday and Easter. In my experience, today feels a bit like an intermission in a play. Lots of drama happened before; lots of drama is yet to come.
We hang in there on the roller coaster of faith because being in relationship with God makes it all worthwhile.
Everyone I know has felt desperate at some point in his or her leadership. Mine came when I started a company after spending years as part of a Fortune 500 company. Gone were the deep pockets of a large organization. Gone was the guaranteed salary to take care of my young family. We had built an innovative product prototype, but hadn’t yet produced a single working production model. Like many other entrepreneurs, I was betting the farm. Like many young entrepreneurs, there was little to fall back on if things failed, other than starting over. And, somehow, leaving the comforts of a large organization made things seem worse.
I did not grow up in a church that passed the peace in worship. We greeted each other more casually, if at all. So, when I began worshiping in a congregation that passed the peace each week, at first I felt a bit awkward. But, as I began to pay more attention to what I was saying and doing, I began to value the passing of the peace as a time to bless my fellow worshipers with one of the greatest of all gifts: God’s peace.
In my last reflection, I focused on the importance of gratitude as we begin our Lenten journey.
This week, I want to focus on the text, “Pay your vows to the Most High.”
There are times in our lives when we are so desperate for God’s help that we might even lift our hands to him, like a child needing her mother’s help. The physical gesture isn’t required, of course. But, like kneeling or bowing our heads, raising our hands in prayer to God might just help lead our hearts before him.
One of the things I didn’t much appreciate – and that my community didn’t emphasize – was the season of Lent. Perhaps you are in a similar situation. … Whether you are new to the season or are an experienced observer, I want to reflect with you every other Saturday this Lenten season on the above text from Psalm 50.
Most of our fears, however, are not especially helpful, even if they are understandable. We feel afraid because we can’t protect ourselves or our loved ones from forces beyond our control.
The things we make wind up making and remaking us.
Work is like that. Not only is work something we do, but it invariably shapes who we become. That is another reason why our work is important to God.