Looking up or looking down? I know many of us are out walking, running, and hiking in our local neighborhoods and open space areas. A question for all of you who are able to move and walk around in these days: where do you focus your vision? Up and around to see the beauty? Or are you a careful foot placer, cautious of uneven ground, rocks, or steps?
We all need to be careful of foot placement and falling, but how often can we miss a fleeting view or a bit of nature because we are looking down? Likewise, if all we do is look up and out, we may well fall on our faces!
Certainly, this whole introduction is a metaphor for our faith journeys, too. It is important to look both up and down as we navigate this life and our relationship to God. Looking up, pausing to experience the beauty of the faith we hold on to and its end goal. And looking down, watching our step, and choosing our path carefully as we navigate the steps ahead. This part, the careful looking, is what I think Lent can do for us.
You are invited into a new way of looking for this Lent, as we encourage acts of joy and kindness, steeping ourselves in the spiritual gifts of curiosity, wonder, joy, hope and generosity. Your staff are each and all hopeful that the pathway through and past this unique time in our church and world’s history might reveal some amazing gifts, gifts that have been here - ways of relating that will carry us through this isolation - and new opportunities to connect and share the endless joy that flows from our God through us.
Christ has been with us all along the way. And like the resurrection stories from the gospels, the first witnesses after Easter were afraid and unsure, but like always, Jesus surpassed their hopes and expectations. God is, I firmly believe, with us all along our way. I am eager to hear how the discipline of looking down and around, looking for joyful surprises boosts your faith.
Blessed be your Lenten Journey!