This Sunday is the second Sunday of Lent. Last week, I introduced the idea of Lent being a journey toward God’s heart for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The first step of embarking on this journey is to embrace God’s heart for us. The Lord is calling us and will accompany us along the way.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
We start on a journey to reach a destination, but we often make discoveries as we continue along the path set before us. Sometimes these discoveries are serendipities, other times they are specifically sought after. One thing is certain, though, we need to have a heart that is open and willing to see what the Lord wants to reveal to us.
I pray that as we seek the Lord with all our heart and discover God’s unconditional love and empowering grace, we will lean into our Lenten journey, aligning ourselves with the Lord’s plans for us and trusting that we will find God’s heart.
I wasn’t sure I was going to choose a word for this year. I was in a conversation at church a couple of weeks ago and a dear friend of mine helped me to identify a word that would encapsulate my intentions for the year to come. She said her word for the year is “and.” It resonated with me, and I’ve decided to adopt it as well. We are each approaching this word differently, but with equal passion, dedication, and integrity. I have a feeling 2020 might be a bit of a wild ride!
My word for 2019 was generosity. It definitely motivated me to live with an open hand and open heart, especially when I wanted to shrink back, circle the wagons, and live in fear instead of faith. I plan on keeping generosity in my back pocket moving forward. It gave me a sense of freedom that can only come from a posture of giving.
So, why did I choose “and” as my word for 2020? It’s actually an extension of generosity. My heart still wants to say “yes.” Whereas in 2019 I wanted to say yes to opportunities that required a contribution, this year I want to say yes to opportunities of increase. For my friend, “and” is a shift from an either/or perspective to a both/and orientation. She is choosing to inhabit the liminal space of the seemingly opposite. It’s tough, it’s brave, and it’s the gateway to expansive growth. (Grace and peace to you, Kim!) For me, embracing “and” also means a shift of perspective from “this OR that” to “this AND that.” This will be a stretch fo me. I am a minimalist by nature. Less is more. My default filter is “if this, then that = No.” Last year, generosity opened my heart externally; “and” will work on my heart internally. Letting go always seems easier than embracing. As I mentioned above, this year could get interesting! In fact, I’m counting on it!
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;