Getting our bearings

sextent-antiqueMay the grace and peace of the Risen Lord be with you. I trust these words find you well, blessed, and part of the Easter people celebrating our awesome and loving God. As an Easter people we are about to begin a whole season of Easter from now until Pentecost Sunday on June 8th. Just about the same time as your life begins to accelerate with Confirmation (next Sunday!), First Holy Communion (May 10th), Mother’s Day, final exams, graduations, summer vacation and camp planning, getting ready for college, and a whole list of things around the home and office. Life can be breathless. Sometimes we need to take a breath, get our bearings, and see how far we have come. To ponder our successes, our failings, all the hurdles we jumped, disasters we dodged, and things that got accomplished.

As strange as it might seem, to think about Lent. At the beginning of Lent, I wrote, “Lent isn’t about denial. It is about transformation. It is the season in which we prepare to encounter the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection by endeavoring to become more Christ-like ourselves. Transformation is about letting ourselves be filled with God’s presence so that we can be shaped by God’s grace. But we have to make room for God’s grace. We have to empty ourselves to make room for God.”

How did that go? Lent has passed and we have journeyed through the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection in the celebration of Holy Week. Now that our transformation has started, where is it going?

Recently someone spoke to me about that idea of “making room for God” in the midst of their incredibly busy schedule. In the course of the conversation, it seemed to me that the conclusion was that “God needed to be my co-pilot.” As I listened, my thought was that maybe we should all get out of the cockpit and just let God be the pilot. And I was not excluding myself from the thought. Thinking about that conversation I wonder if “making room for God” has its own limitations as a metaphor.

It is perhaps fine as a starting point, someplace to begin, or a way to think to become intentional about becoming more Christ-like in our lives. But that just brings me back to the question of where is this all going? Life with God in heaven is the answer in the long-term, but it strikes me that a nearer term goal might be centered in the way we look at all this. If Lent was the period in which we “made room for God,” I would suggest that the next segment of this transformation would be “we should make God the room.”

What I mean by this is that God should be not merely the reference point, but the whole context out of which we operate. God is not merely the source of our existence, he is the substance of our existence, the very life we have, and without God we would be lifeless, even if we are alive. Put another way, if Jesus is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all.


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